Monrovia Receives Sustainability Certification

Mar 14, 2013


Recognized by Food Alliance’s Standards for Nurseries



DAYTON, Ore. – (March 14, 2013) — Monrovia, a leading grower of premium garden plants, has been certified by the Food Alliance for sustainable agricultural and management practices at its Dayton, Ore., nursery.  For the past 18 years, Food Alliance has provided comprehensive third-party certification for sustainable food handling practices. In the summer of 2012 the non-profit organization unveiled a sustainability standard for nurseries and greenhouses.

            “Monrovia has long been an industry leader in developing and implementing systems to reduce the use of pesticides and hazardous chemicals, improve water recycling, increase composting and establishing reuse/recycle programs throughout the company,” said Walter Suttle, technical services coach.  “In 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded us with its prestigious Evergreen Award for environmental excellence and leadership in pollution prevention.”

            Food Alliance certification standards for farm and facility operations address a range of social and environmental issues including safe and fair working conditions, reduction of pesticide use and toxicity, soil and water and energy conservation, reduction of waste, and protection of wildlife habitat. The certification requires continuous improvement in social and environmental management practices.  Below are some examples of Monrovia’s environmental stewardship:

Fair Working Conditions. Monrovia’s values statement is Fairness, Respect, Opportunity and Pride of Craftsmanship. A key company tenet is that its Craftsmen are its most valuable asset.

Pesticide Use Reduction. Monrovia is committed to providing high quality, pest-free plants while maintaining a commitment to reducing its environmental impact. They have done extensive research into the root causes of disease and pest outbreaks. By addressing the causes, Monrovia has been able to reduce the disease levels, and the need to use pesticides by actively encouraging natural populations of beneficial insects, which reduce the levels of pests.

Composting. Those plants that do not meet Monrovia’s quality standards are composted, rather than sent to landfill or the burn pile. This high quality compost is recycled into the custom soil blends. The compost is alive with beneficial organisms that suppress disease organisms, which helps reduce pesticide usage.

Water Recycling. During the summer irrigation season, the Monrovia nursery in Dayton captures and reuses all surface irrigation runoff. The re-use of this water allows the company to recycle fertilizers in the runoff, while preventing them from entering nearby streams. Water recycling allows the Dayton facility to produce more plant material without additional “raw” water withdrawals, conserving about 2,000 acre-feet of precious water per year. Back in the early 1970s, Monrovia was the first in the industry to recycle water.

Waste Reduction. Extensive recycling programs are in place at Monrovia. Plastic pots, bags, bottles and greenhouse films are all recycled, as well as cardboard, waste wood, metals, waste oil and antifreeze.

Wildlife Habitat. A native oak savanna has been preserved on the Oregon property, and natural vegetation is allowed to grow along the streams that pass adjacent to the nursery. A six-acre block has been planted with native trees along a reservoir. Many predatory birds can be seen hunting on the property. The hawks, owls, eagles and herons help prevent rodent damage.

            For more information details, visit the environmental stewardship page on


About Food Alliance:

Food Alliance is a non-profit organization that certifies farms, ranches, food processors and distributors for sustainable agriculture and production practices. Businesses that meet Food Alliance’s standards, as determined by a third-party site inspection, use certification to make credible claims for social and environmental responsibility, differentiating their products and strengthening their brands.  For the past 18 years, Food Alliance has served as the most comprehensive and credible sustainable food certification.  The model has been heralded as a true “gold standard,” and adopted by many as an actionable path to sustainability.

Background on Monrovia:

Founded in 1926, Monrovia is the leading grower of premium ornamental and edible plants, with more than 2,300 varieties.  The company has introduced hundreds of improved plants, including more than 230 exclusives.   Monrovia’s Distinctively Better® plants are nurtured in custom-blended, premium soil mixes, to produce healthy plants that flourish in the landscape. From its five, eco-friendly nurseries in Visalia and Venice Hills, Calif., Dayton, Ore., LaGrange, N.C. and Cairo, Ga., Monrovia distributes its plants through independent garden centers and re-wholesalers nationwide.  The company remains a family owned entity.

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