Chin Ridge is working to make both our farming practices and manufacturing practices more sustainable and supportive to the environment. While we have much work to do, here are some of our key initiatives to date:
Commitment to reducing our energy footprint by installing Solar-Powered Facilities:
After years of consideration, we finally moved forward in 2017 with building our own 132.7 kW solar farm built next to our warehouses. The solar farm includes 428 solar panels and generates over 180 MWh of electricity annually allowing us to operate our bird seed warehouses and seed plant operations with a net zero energy footprint.
Commitment to soil sustainability & reduced fuel consumption by using No-till farming practices:
Cultivating and tilling the land was a common practice in years past and the results were devastating with topsoil blowing away and moisture being lost due to evaporation. Our farm has moved to a "no-till" management practice which allows us to minimize land disruption and prevent the negative effects of soil erosion while maximizing soil moisture retention and improving soil biodiversity for microorganisms, earthworms and the like. In addition, no-till practices reduce fertilizer loss due to water runoff and reduces equipment fuel usage.
Commitment to effective water usage & wild life habitat preservation through seeding winter wheat.
There are many ecological benefits to growing winter wheat. Winter wheat allows "field nesting" birds like ducks to nest undisturbed from spring through early summer. Studies have shown that ducks nesting in winter wheat fields are 24 times more successful than those nesting in spring sown fields.
Winter wheat also acts as a cover crop preventing soil erosion and nutrient run off over the winter and spring months. It also uses spring moisture, that may otherwise evaporate or be lost, in an efficient way to grow a crop.
Because of these and other benefits, we try to put a portion of our farm into winter wheat every year. For more information on the benefits of growing winter wheat see www.habitatwheat.ca.
Commitment to Local supplier programs:
We believe in supporting local suppliers to support our local economy and to lower the environmental and financial costs of transporting goods long distances. While we can not source all of our supplies locally, we do work with local farmers on ingredients and local suppliers for packaging materials. We emphasize purchasing Canadian products when possible and believe that the Canadian farmers and suppliers are among the best in the world.