Fruit grown responsibly
All Zeal fruit is grown under the Protected Harvest certification program – a set of stringent growing standards and farming practices that reflect our passion for superior flavor, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Protected Harvest certification ensures that our fruit is grown in compliance with the most environmentally sound standards for soil, water and pesticides. Under this program, all farming practices are audited and certified, and only fruit from these certified farms is harvested and packed under the Zeal name. All to help you meet the growing demand for foods that are as good for the body as they are for the planet.
A FreshSense brand with Protected Harvest certification is environmentally proactive, socially responsible and economically viable.
What are the Protected Harvest standards? What specifically is measured?
Protected Harvest standards reflect the unique growing requirements and environmental considerations of each crop and region. The standards go well beyond a more conventional organic focus on chemicals alone. Each crop and region-specific standard is divided into three parts. These parts are audited and measured.
- Production: Including field scouting, information sources, pest management decisions, field management decisions, weed management, insect management, disease management, soil and water quality, and storage management.
- Inputs: In order to qualify for certification, growers must stay below an established total number of Chemical inputs per acre. Dangerous pesticides are prohibited. Other pesticides may be used with restriction. The overall number of inputs permitted is low, and growers must use their chemical choices wisely in order to pass.
- Chain-of-custody: Each packer or handler of the crop must undergo an additional chain-of- custody handler audit that follows the crop from field to retail, including during storage, packing, pallet loading, and transportation, ensuring the integrity of Protected Harvest's certification.
Is Protected Harvest certification the same as “Organic” certification?
Protected Harvest certification is not the same as organic certification. Organic certification only only relates to the use of chemicals Protected Harvest measures not just chemical inputs but the farming operations’ total impact on the environment. For example, compounds such as sulfur are approved for organic produce but not for Protected Harvest produce, due to sulfur’s negative impact on air quality. Protected Harvest allows you to provide your customers with a new choice in the marketplace, by offering products that meet their taste, quality, availability, and price standards – that are also good for the environment.
Protected Harvest is considered an “eco-label.” What is an eco-label?
“Eco-label” is a broad term that means, “A seal or logo indicating that a product has met a set of environmental or social standards.” A key component to a good eco-label is that the claims are measurable, verifiable, free of conflict-of-interest, and available to the public. Protected Harvest meets and exceeds all of these core elements, but most importantly – Protected Harvest has been aggressive in setting very challenging goals, including the adoption of Biointensive IPM practices, the reduction of pesticide use, and the development of performance measures for soil and water quality, wildlife habitat, and ecosystem health. The Protected Harvest label makes it easier for consumers to identify and support farmers and food companies that are truly making a difference.