Recently, we completed a project to replace outdated water control structures in our Indian River Groves. The groves are located within a "water control district" that was established in the 1930's to drain land for agriculture. While it's now possible to grow citrus on the drained land, it altered the water relations in the Indian River.
Our company has long taken a leadership role in reducing environmental impacts from growing citrus. These new water control structures will allow us to retain more water inside the groves during rainfall events, thereby reducing runoff to the Indian River. They're only the latest effort -- we have also revolutionized irrigation practices and pest control programs to reduce environmental impacts as well.
Will it make any difference in the fruit if we spent the money to install these structures? Actually, it won't. The entire reason is to be environmentally responsible, even if it involves significant capital expenditures that will not be recovered directly. We're in this for the long haul, so while the word "sustainable" is often overused, we believe in a holistic approach that will make our groves tread more softly in their ecosystems.
We use low-impact growing practices, including pest control programs that rely heavily on natural biological interactions instead of pesticide-intense programs. As a result, our fruit may not be as pretty as you'll find from other gift fruit shippers who buy commercial fruit to pack.
We can say this, though -- no fruit will taste any better, or be safer, and no grower in Florida is more committed than we are to constantly examining the choices we make to reduce the impacts from our growing practices. You can be assured that by supporting The Orange Shop, you're also sharing in the leadership role that will help demonstrate to everyone in our business that it's important to think about things other than the profit margin when making decisions.
We thank you for helping us continuously raise the bar for our industry. The world will be a better place.