Certified Organic vs. Conventional Farming > Meet the Farmer

JULY 2021

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Welcome to Veritable Vegetable, one of our certified organic produce providers.

A farmer can grow the most wholesome tomatoes and carrots, but to get them onto someone’s table often means a truck is pumping pollution for miles along the Interstate. Veritable Vegetable, a distributor of certified organic produce, has always focused on shipping to fix the broken food chain. 

Women-owned and led, the B Corp company started out of the Mission District in San Francisco around 1974 and now works with about 350 small farms. “They're all certified organic,” says Karen Salinger, who’s been there almost from the beginning. “But we look beyond that. We try to understand a little bit about their work practices and social justice issues to make sure they align with our values.” 

Veritable Vegetable’s 55,000-square-foot warehouse has 560 solar panels, which has helped them cut 25% of their energy use. Inside, they’ve eliminated 99% of their waste through recycling, composting, and reusing. “For example, we create these big bales of plastic wrap and are able to sell those,” says Salinger. But the ecological highlight is their green fleet of 32 hybrid trucks with near-zero emissions. From small vans to 48-foot tractor trailers, every detail is obsessed over to reduce fuel usage. They analyze drivers’ habits, tweak aerodynamic designs, use hybrid refrigeration; now they’re testing solar panels to power the cabs. 

“The very first truck we got ran on natural gas,” says Salinger. “And we covered it with frogs and lizards and bugs trying to send the message that, ‘Hey, this truck is not polluting. It's not going to kill these insects and small animals.’ And that quickly evolved into us just saying, okay, whatever we do with our trucks, it has to be something that helps.”