Lakeside Foods has pioneered sustainable food production since its founding in 1887, long before the rest of the industry made it a priority. From our early partnership with the University of Wisconsin to improve seed varieties, to collaboration with farmers on crop rotation, to reducing water and energy use in our operations, we’re mindful of our responsibility to the environment. Our goal is to make food production as sustainable as possible while ensuring all people have access to quality, nutritious food.
Precision Fertility Application: We work with our growers to employ GPS systems to optimize planting, cultivating and spraying. The technology helps farmers improve soil quality, utilize every acre, reduce chemical application by eliminating overlap, and maximize crop yield. They also utilize farming practices that reduce soil compaction, mitigate soil erosion and save fuel.
Nutrient Optimization: Soil samples are sent to a lab for analysis to determine farmland nutrient levels, and our growers use the results to minimize fertilization application. We also continuously test new and improved varieties of seeds to increase yield and quantity and reduce the need for chemical additives.
Eco-Friendly Package Design
We partner with our packaging suppliers on the latest innovations available and attend industry seminars to stay informed of more eco-friendly packaging options. We share these insights with our private label customers and work with them to analyze the benefits of myriad packaging designs for food products and weigh these factors against shelf-life considerations and consumer preferences for convenience and portability.
Efficient Plant Operations
Energy Efficiency: At all of our plants and distribution centers, we prioritize reducing energy demands while controlling customer costs. Battery-operated forklifts reduce air pollution, air doors maximize freezer temperature control, and energy-efficient lighting and motion sensors reduce electricity needs. We recapture heat from boiler exhaust to use in our food processing operations, and piping insulation helps reduce heat loss. Recently, we replaced aging lighting fixtures with LED fixtures in our plants, warehouses and parking lots; installed variable frequency drive systems on boiler fans and pumps; and updated compressed air equipment to minimize leakage. These projects reduced plant energy use, qualified for energy rebates and improved the power capability of our equipment.
Reduced Water Usage: Our facilities have installed water recirculation piping and updated equipment to reduce water consumption, like new pressure spray nozzles, regulators and washers. One newly installed bean washer is saving 10 million gallons of water a year at just one location. We’ve also developed a closed-loop piping system to recapture heat from vegetable processing to heat water for boilers and for cleaning and sanitizing equipment. This reduces our water use by millions of gallons each year and reduces the amount of natural gas needed to heat water to the necessary food safety temperatures. In addition, replacing freezers with newer models has reduced frost buildup and the need to use extra water to defrost them
Recycling: Our plants are proactive in recycling used oil, cardboard, cans, batteries and wood pallets to reduce environmental impact and keep unnecessary items out of landfills
Food Waste: Harvested products with imperfections and plant waste that is unavoidable in the commercial processing of our vegetables is collected and sent to area farmers to be used for animal feed or used as fertilizer for our fields. Finished products that don’t meet our stringent quality standards but are still safe for human consumption don’t go to waste either. We donate these products to community food banks, disaster relief food drives, and community events.