Sustainability isn't just a fad or a marketing tool here; at HWA, it's integrated into everything we do. It starts with our growers and carries into our almond processing facilities. Ag-tech solutions, food safety, and social impact help us stay at the forefront of our increasingly fine-tuned industry. Growing and processing almonds is an energy and resource-intensive effort, but HWA is committed to using less to produce more.
During February and March, beekeepers and their honey bees travel to California. That's the largest movement of pollinators in the world, and it transforms hundreds of billions of almond blossoms into hundreds of billions of delicious almonds. So you can understand why Harris Woolf proudly supports a number of leading non-profit organizations devoted to the health of bees and other invertebrates.
Partnerships with organizations like Pollinator Partnership and Xerces Society continuously help our growers establish pollinator habitats in their orchards. Woolf Farming, for example, is one of Harris Woolf’s founding almond farms that uses cutting-edge bee-friendly farming practices. They have planted nearly 200 acres of pollinator habitats, including 50 diverse plant species, all of which help honey bees and other pollinators thrive.
Water: The most essential input in the almond industry. The future of almond farming and almond products depends on prioritizing creative ways to be more efficient with how we use this key resource. Harris Woolf Almonds is committed to implementing new systems, both within our processing facilities and almond orchards, in order to get the most utility out of every drop.
Our growers invest in water flow monitors to better regulate water usage, eliminate waste, and avoid water shortages. Additionally, over 95% of our growers have moved from traditional irrigation methods to utilize sophisticated water-saving technologies. Our processing facilities are also dedicated to reducing their water footprints with initiatives like recapturing wastewater and reusing it as irrigation water for crops.
Another area we aim to reduce waste applies to our California almonds themselves. Along with the almond kernel, almond trees produce an outer hull and almond shell. HWA doesn’t let this organic matter go to waste. Both co-products are used locally, the hulls as livestock feed and the shells as road base or bedding for cattle.
Whole Orchard Recycling is another method used by our growers to reduce waste. At the end of an almond tree’s useful life, the trees are chipped and reincorporated into the soil. This sequesters carbon in the ground and offers a wide range of environmental benefits. Our team is consistently looking for new ways to repurpose byproducts and reduce waste.
Many sustainability programs and projects centered around energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions are in the works at HWA. Based on assessments conducted by independent agencies, we have a thorough understanding of our plants' carbon footprint and energy efficiency — but there is always room for improvement. We're in the process of reducing our dependence on traditional power sources by developing expansive solar projects. By 2025, 50% of energy usage from our facilities will be from renewable sources. Further, we're committed to lowering GHG emissions from our facilities by 25% by 2025.
Food safety is crucial for consumers, the environment, and Harris Woolf Almonds. We enact comprehensive, globally recognized safety plans throughout our facilities and continue to lead the way in maintaining a more traceable supply chain.
Food safety is why we invest so heavily in optical sorting and employee training. These intelligent, preemptive measures lead to less waste, quality products, happier customers, and a safer world.
From our employees to our almond growers to our community, HWA strives to make a positive impact on every stakeholder. Our people are our focus when developing sustainable practices. We constantly ask ourselves, how can we listen, grow, and improve our methods for long-term positive impact? We provide exceptional service to our 200+ almond farmers and farms, consistently working with our growers to develop the most effective, resourceful, and bio-dynamic processes. Workplace safety is a consistent priority within our operations, to advocate for the health, equity, and well-being of the people who make up HWA. Our mission to give back aims to support the diversity of California’s Central Valley and includes programs like our Community Fund that address issues impacting San Joaquin Valley rural communities.
Harris Woolf Almonds utilizes sustainable and innovative harvesting and processing methods to develop clean almond products. Our natural almonds, in-shell almonds, almond butter and paste, almond protein powder, almond flour, and sweet almond oil are trusted by top brands in plant-based, keto, vegan, and gluten-free industries. We strive to help any organization formulate its unique offerings, provide unique health benefits, and meet changing consumer preferences. HWA’s reach is global, with customers all over the world. The HWA Team is here to walk you through the journey and help you discover high-quality sustainable ingredients.
Stringent resource planning is of critical importance for Woolf Farming — one of HWA's founding farms. Woolf Farming constantly works to make their operation more resourceful and bio-dynamic. For example, through effective tracking technologies, Woolf Farming has drastically reduced the amount of tractor time needed to farm; this results in higher soil quality and a carbon emissions offset of nearly 300,000 tons annually — the equivalent of taking 53,000 cars off the road!