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Save Mart Supermarkets will take part in a major composting program by providing food products that can no longer be safely sold or donated. It involves patent-pending, breakthrough technology developed by California Safe Soil (CSS) that recycles food waste into fertilizer.
“We began composting in the 1990’s, but the CSS technology is ‘Compost 2.0,’ converting our organic residuals into a valuable liquid fertilizer so that our local farm partners can grow their next crop for us to bring to market. Save Mart is proud to play a key role in making that happen,” said Steve Gaines, director of retail services for the Modesto, Calif.-based grocer.
CSS is moving from the pilot stage to full-scale commercialization with the announcement of a long-term lease at McClellan Business Park, where the company will build an 80,000-square-foot facility to recycle up to 32,000 tons of organics per year. Save Mart will provide the food products as part of a long-term agreement.
For the past three years, CSS has operated a pilot program in West Sacramento that turns food waste into liquid fertilizer for farms. The drought-friendly product is called Harvest to Harvest (H2H), and it takes only three hours to produce. Farmers can use H2H in their fields to restore organic matter to the soil and grow the next crop. For consumers, this could pave the way for a sustainably grown section at their local produce department, right alongside regular and organic fruits and vegetables.
Save Mart is a “great partner,” according to Dan Morash, founder of CSS. “Save Mart is a leader in resource management and recycling in the retail industry—and was among the first to compost its unsalable food waste,” he said.
The retailer operates 211 traditional and price impact stores under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky, FoodMaxx, S-Mart Foods and Maxx Value Foods.