Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc., the nation’s second largest pistachio processor and maker of Pistachio Chewy Bites, is listening and understands that consumer demand for sustainable products and manufacturing practices has reached an all-time high. As an American agricultural business and a family-owned company, Setton Pistachio is committed to a sustainable future and decreasing their overall footprint on the environment.
Making it a priority to increase measures to reduce, reuse and recycle, Setton engineers are using an innovative technology to press leftover pistachio grounds into oil. The oil is currently being sold in Japan to manufacture soaps, shampoos and creams. “We’ve really just scratched the surface when it comes to new alternative products made from our pistachio grounds,” says Lee Cohen, general manager at Setton Pistachio. “Yes, there’s money to be made from what we would have normally called ‘trash’ 10 years ago. At the same time, it only makes sense to reuse every part of the pistachio nut, to reduce our overall footprint on the environment.” Setton turns 100 percent of all pistachio hull waste, produced from nut processing, into cattle feed. This keeps 150 million pounds of waste out of landfills.
Two years ago, the company displayed its sustainable commitment to the area and future generations by installing a 1.7-megawatt solar power system offsetting the processing facility’s energy bill by 100 percent. The system is the largest private photovoltaic system in California's Central Valley and produces more than 2.6 million kilowatt hours of clean energy each year. The solar energy is harnessed to sort, roast and package an estimated 80 million pounds of pistachios annually at their 400,000-square-foot processing facility.
"It feels great to be doing something good for our neighbors, customers, growers, partners and planet,” says Mia Cohen, chief operating officer of Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc. “Working with renewable energy sources, like solar, is just one of the many ways to reinforce our dedication to sustainable business practices and the environment.”
Working to reduce the amount of water the growing and processing facility recirculates back into public waterways is also a major priority for the company. During the busy harvest season, Setton’s processing plant uses up to 75,000 gallons of water per hour. To lesson this impact, Setton implemented a system to filter and recycle the water so it can be pumped back into the orchards for irrigation.
“We are making huge efforts to use and reuse all resources responsibly before, during and after harvesting our pistachios,” Comments Mia Cohen. “Reusing water is one of the easiest and cleanest ways we can do that.”
To learn more about Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc.’s commitment to the environment, visit www.settonfarms.com.