Sparta, MI-based Riveridge Produce Marketing's compliance with the Michigan
Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program has been verified by the
Michigan Department of Agriculture, signifying Riveridge’s commitment to
environmental stewardship. The firm has become an advocate of the MAEAP
program (www.maeap.org) and is strongly encouraging its many partner farms
to follow its lead.
MAEAP is a voluntary program created to help farmers assess operations and
implement sustainable business practices that benefit surrounding
communities, the environment and the financial viability of the farm.
"Sustainability has always been one of our top priorities," Don Armock,
president and partner of Riveridge Produce Marketing, said in a Dec. 17 press
release. “Through the MAEAP, we collaborate and share with other Michigan
farms to improve our industry’s environmental footprint.”
Recent sustainability initiatives include new sprayer technologies, natural
pest-management techniques, eco-friendly packaging, recycling and
composting, all of which help reduce emissions and waste.
“Riveridge has recognized environmental sustainability as being important to
themselves, their growers and neighbors in the community, as well as their
customers,” Denise Donohue, executive director of the DeWitt-based
Michigan Apple Committee, said in the release. “Earning the MAEAP
designation through the Michigan Department of Agriculture is the public
stamp of approval that farming is being conducted in an environmentally
Earning MAEAP verification requires completion of a three-phase program
beginning with an educational session. Then, an on-farm risk assessment is
administered. Finally, a third-party verification guarantees the farmer has
instituted environmentally sound practices.
“The reason the MAEAP program works is the people involved are doing it for
all the right reasons,” Josh Appleby, MAEAP verifier and resource analyst of
the MDA, added in the release. “Riveridge genuinely cares about their farm
and the environment, both now and in the future. They want to raise
awareness for sustainability.”