OFF ON 12 California Food Producer EDITION 2, 2018 You may not have realized it, but as a food producer, you’re in the energy business! We’ll explain: calories are units of energy; calorie-rich food provides fuel—food energy—to power you through your day. Like calories or any other fuel, consuming more energy than you need can have undesired consequences. It’s inefficient and costly, and it wastes finite resources. However, the prospect of reducing energy usage can be intimidating. Your current energy practices have been in place for a long time, and demand for your products keeps rising. Why change now? Frankly, you have to. REGULATIONS ARE CONSTANTLY EVOLVING California has some of the most comprehensive environmen- tal regulations in the United States. It is also the country’s primary supplier of fruits and vegetables, as well as the top provider of dairy products. For some crops, including olives, almonds and artichokes, California is the sole producer in the entire U.S. In addition to farming operations, Califor- nia is home to hundreds of facilities that prepare and process foods, including canned and packaged goods, sauces and prepared meals. The California Department of Food and Agriculture reports that more than 400 commodities1 are grown within the state. With a growing population, demand for these products can only rise. Demand for energy resourc- es will rise with it. Remember those comprehensive environmental regulations we mentioned earlier? In the coming years, they’re going to get even more complex. Water and electricity rates are 1 Statistics. CFDA. August 30, 2018. projected to increase considerably, and the laws governing usage of these resources will change rapidly. Energy pricing will become more dynamic, and the ability to comprehend and adapt to these changes will be crucial to keeping energy costs under control while remaining competitive in an evolving industry. In addition to new state regulations, consumer attitudes about food production are also changing. Individuals are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of the food they purchase, as well as the restaurants and grocery stores they patronize. According to a 2015 Nielsen study that polled 30,000 consumers,2 “commitment to the environment has the power to sway product purchases for 45% of consumers surveyed. Commitment to either social value or the consumer’s community are also important (each influencing 43% and 41% of respondents, respectively). Retail data backs up the importance of these influencers. In 2014, 65% of total sales of consumer goods measured globally were generated by brands whose marketing conveyed commitment to social and/or environmental value.”3 With these trends in mind, McDonald’s became an early adopter, announcing a plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by approximately one third4 in the next decade. This commitment affects not only its restaurants, but also its suppliers—dairy farmers, meat and poultry providers, fruit and vegetable growers, cold storage facilities, distributors 2 “Consumer Goods Brands that Demonstrate Commitment to Sustain- ability Outperform Those that Don’t.” Nielsen. October 12, 2015. 3 Ibid. 4 Baertlein, Lisa. “McDonald’s Sets Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets.” Reuters. March 20, 2018. Cost-Effective Energy Opportunities are 45% commitment to the environment 43% commitment to social value 41% commitment to consumer’s community