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Berry big on innovation

At Elpis Labs, our Friday Happy Hours provide more than a casual end to the week—they foster a rich exchange of knowledge and expertise among industry leaders. Last week, we welcomed Daniel Preto, a senior HR executive from Driscoll’s of the Americas, to delve into the fascinating world of berry cultivation.

Why Berries?

Driscoll's, a century-old leader in the berry market, uses a meticulous blend of science and tradition to cultivate the finest strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Their "Berry Innovators" leverage genetic insights to enhance berry traits such as flavor, color, and resilience, ensuring that each berry is not only delightful but also the product of careful selection from thousands.

Driscoll’s stands firm in their commitment to natural breeding methods, avoiding genetic modification. Their approach emphasizes ethical practices and high-quality results, relying on natural cross-pollination to develop robust, disease-resistant plants that yield delicious berries.

The lifecycle of a Driscoll's berry, from its beginnings in disease-free nurseries to its journey to the store shelf, involves extensive care. This process ensures that consumers enjoy the freshest berries, akin to having picked them from their own garden.

Organic Farming facts:

  • Independent organic growers are committed to upholding the standards set by the National Organic Program, regulated by the USDA.

  • Organic farming requires extra care, commitment, and collaboration between growers, organic certifiers, natural resource professionals, and Driscoll’s employees.

  • Driscoll’s guides independent growers through the certification journey and supports organic farming practices through research and best practice sharing.

  • Driscoll’s develops proprietary varieties through selective breeding, ensuring all berries are non-GMO.

  • Techniques include cover crops, crop rotation, composts, and pre-plant soil treatments like anaerobic soil disinfestation and steam.

  • Introducing native crops to attract beneficial bugs, increasing crop resilience without synthetic inputs.

Upholding Human Dignity and Sustainability

Driscoll’s dedication extends beyond berries to their workforce. Despite their harvesters being employed by independent growers, Driscoll’s insists on high labor standards to ensure dignity and pride in their work. Their proactive measures in labor practices aim to elevate industry standards and enhance overall well-being.

Driscoll's commitment to natural processes, combined with their focus on labor ethics and sustainability, exemplifies their role as a leader not just in berry production, but in responsible agricultural practices. This happy hour with Daniel Preto not only enriched our knowledge but also highlighted the importance of integrating ethical considerations in business operations.

"It was great to participate in the happy hour, connect with all participants and share some curiosities of the berry world at Driscoll’s. This is a fascinating business and I feel very proud to work for a company with strong values and a mission that is the foundation of everything we do to continually delight berry consumers, through alignment with our customers and berry growers."

Daniel Preto

Senior HR executive from Driscoll’s of the Americas

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