Four years ago, we at NatureSweet made a commitment on how we would measure success. Our new mandate was to "make a positive impact on our associates' lives and the communities we serve through growing the best tasting tomatoes in the world. We are proud of not only how our tomatoes taste, but the way we grow them.
When we first commissioned an independent sustainability audit to benchmark the metrics of our success, we were able to immediately turn our attention to the social aspects. Our focus on increasing our associates' salaries, training opportunities, and education, and improving their communities has continually demonstrated improvements, of which I am proud. The audit is all encompassing, reviewing our processes, interviewing our associates at home and in their community to receive feedback, on what we need to continue doing, and also where we need to improve.
During the past three years we have steadily implemented new technology to enhance our reporting systems, and last year we completed our "sustainability data quality management platform". That means this year's sustainability report is based on more than 4,000 separate data points from 87 collectors throughout all NatureSweet facilities. Each measure can be mapped back to the specific person and job title that owns the information. This serves as the basis for initiatives that can, in fact, improve the lives of associates, generate resource efficiencies, ensure highest quality inputs and allow us to continue to sell the best tasting tomatoes in the world. In other words, we are applying the same discipline to our sustainability efforts as we do to operating our business.
Water, and its intrinsic link to the quality of our product, enables us to grow the best tasting tomatoes, every day. This precious resource, a core to every global sustainability conversation is of paramount importance to NatureSweet. We will continue to focus on this important area, through the establishment of our water conservation committees at each site to make an impact on our water consumption. A comprehensive water audit conducted in 2011 sets the groundwork for decisions that will help us conserve w where we can and ensure its quality for generations to come.
Now more than ever, we are convinced that there is no contradiction between commercial success and making a positive impact on the lives of our associates and the communities they live in. We continue to request feedback from our associates, our suppliers and from consumers who desire to help us improve in the way we conduct our business. Growing the best tomatoes in the world is our passion, making a positive impact on our community is our commitment. – less–ZoomInfo