To hear Richard Draper, assistant seed and chemical manager, tell it, there’s no mystery to why the GROWMARK FS facility in Milford, DE, is being honored with a 2012 Environmental Respect regional award. Doing business in various portions of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia (nicknamed “Delmarva”), with its heavy emphasis on water safety issues – particularly regarding the nearby Chesapeake Bay – has created an environment where everyone has had to keep these matters top-of-mind.
“This has meant that to run our business effectively, we need to constantly go beyond what is expected, to protect the people and land that surrounds us,” says Draper. “Overall, we are very proactive as a result, not just reactive to what regulations are being put into place at the time.”
According to Matt Ivory, Delmarva seed and chemical manager for the outlet, GROWMARK Milford followed this proactive agenda when the company was initially building this facility back in 2006. “We have extra environmental and safety features throughout our complex,” says Ivory.
As an example of this, he points to the GROWMARK Milford product warehouse. One of the largest such structures in the Delmarva region, the warehouse features a containment area that can accommodate 110% of the largest tank’s capacity, an impervious coating on the floor (applied by company employees, not contractors, adds Draper) and permanently sealed containment drains.
“Routine safety and security checkpoints are in place to ensure that all products are handled according to all state and federal regulations,” says Ivory.
GROWMARK Milford also has an active safety check and training program in place. “All emergency equipment is routinely inspected and updated as needed to make certain that all systems are fully functional at all times,” says Ivory. “Quarterly training is performed to monitor and implement new and/or changing regulations, and to train employees on the new or changed requirements.”
Overall, concludes Ivory, GROWMARK Milford views these and its other environmentally-friendly measures as part of doing its job properly. “On any given day, there are thousands of decisions being made within our organization that bring us closer to our ultimate goal of environmental stewardship,” he says. “Each and every decision builds upon the next. Brick by brick, we are building the foundation of long-term commitment to serve those that provide the food and fiber for all others.”