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Driscoll’s Organic Certification Update

Family owned for over 100 years, Driscoll's is passionate about growing premium fresh berries. Our first strawberries were grown and sold in the Pajaro Valley, CA in 1872.  Since our first sales of organic berries in the late 1980’s, Driscoll’s innovation continues to pave the way for the organic berry market by continuously improving organic production practices. As the leader in the fresh organic berry market, Driscoll’s is a trusted brand for consumers looking for organic strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. We are certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) one of the oldest and largest third-party organic certifying agencies. Our organic crops comply with the National Organic Program (NOP) definition of Organic Production:

A production system that is managed in accordance with the Act and regulations in this part to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.

Driscoll’s does not grow hydroponic, aquaponic or aeroponic crops.  Driscoll’s supply comes from both in-ground production and containerized production.  Containerized production is not the same production system as hydroponics which is a water-based production system. These are two very distinct and different production practices.    

The core of organics is producing high quality food while being a steward of the environment.  Container production exemplifies the organic spirit extremely well, and existing organic rules require inputs be free of synthetic chemicals or genetically modified organisms.

Container production berries use significantly less water and inputs. This is no simple task and has taken many growers a lot of time and investment to develop this system into a commercially feasible practice. We encourage this type of innovation as a company and know that farming is an ever evolving production system that is an essential part of society.

We have the highest standards in our organic agricultural practices, and we strictly adhere to the rigorous rules and regulations of the National Organic Program.  The NOSB confirmed that greenhouse production in soil and containers can align with organic principles in its recommendation in 2010 and reaffirmed this position in its discussion document in 2016.

This shows the importance of the NOSB process in ensuring that definitions are clear regarding the differences in hydroponics and greenhouse production in the ground and in containers. There is a need for the NOSB to clearly define hydroponics, aeroponics, and greenhouse production systems, so that consumers are not confused about how their produce is grown.  We support ongoing discussions at the NOSB on these issues to ensure continued consumer confidence in the organic label. We have confidence in the oversight system at USDA to investigate complaints in a timely manner and to provide consumers with the assurance of the validity of organic claims in the marketplace.

Our nursery and independent grower commitment to the National Organic Program runs long and deep. We’ve provided certified organic strawberry planting stock to organic growers since 2008. In 2015, we committed to providing organic planting stock to all organic berry growers over a ten‐year period. Driscoll’s handling facilities and select growers have been certified since 1997. We work diligently to meet or exceed both the organic principles and standard in order to uphold the   integrity of our berries and the organic seal.

Driscoll’s Commitment to Organics

Driscoll's Commits to Organic Nursery Plants