Sustainability is everywhere. Or let me rephrase that. The word sustainability is everywhere. Scrawled across corporate posters in Starbucks and etched into labels in nearly every aisle of the grocery store, this single word has taken on a life of its own thanks mostly to marketers and a handful of tried and true brands who were walking the walk before it was cool.
As a company, we get asked what we are doing to be sustainable as often as, “How many acres do you farm?” For us at Spinaca Farms, and for many other companies I suspect, sustainability has become the latest litmus test to validate how “good” we are. But defining sustainability is tough because everyone seems to have their own opinion of what sustainable is and ideas on just how sustainable you really are or ought to be—either way, the term is becoming relative. For one company, sustainability could be rooted in their own desire to be more sustainable than the next, for another, it may simply attach itself to someone (influencers) or something (most likes) that is the most sustainable at the moment.
It’s about health
For me, personally and here at Spinaca Farms, sustainability means to create something lasting. This starts with the preservation of health—my own, the health of my family, friends, coworkers, customers, and colleagues—to set the stage for us all to have the best possible long-lasting relationships with each other.
Sustainability is also about the health and preservation of our farms and the farms of our industry by putting more nutrition back into the soil than we are extracting during harvest and tillage. It’s about preserving our equipment so we can rely on it to get the crops farmed properly and not spend more time than necessary on repairs and maintenance.
And it’s about profit, which helps preserve a healthy financial position so the company can turn around and invest back into the health of its people, soils, and equipment. In action, sustainability has less to do with how complex the answer is and more about the impact it has, and for us, the preservation of health in all that it embodies is the ultimate answer to the sustainability question.