The management team at NRBO follows numerous best practices to grow and deliver to the marketplace a safe and sustainable product with a labor force that is committed to personal and business success.

Employment Practices

Our employment goals include the emphasis of employee pride and ownership through progressive responsibility positions and incentive plans, such as fringe benefits and partial ownership to key supervisors and managers.

We have been a progressive leader in establishing housing for our seasonal workers by providing clean and comfortable living conditions for our Hispanic workers. 

On-site housing for the harvest workforce

On-site housing for the harvest workforce

We have traditionally paid wages that exceed the level of the general market.

We promote employee retention and employee commitment by developing long term plans for business success and sharing these plans with employees.

We support personal development to improve job performance and personal growth by providing opportunities to attend industry education meetings at Company expense, including paid time off.

We have been an industry leader in supporting Junior College agricultural education programs for personal and professional development of our migrant work force. We have paid for the programs and provided paid leave to attend.

We have written work rules and we have developed an employee handbook to define expectations of employees. Progressive discipline is administered to influence positive behavior.

We have a written accident prevention program that we review with employees throughout the season to emphasize safe work practices. Our L & I rate is at the low end of the industry range of experience ratings.

We have provided financial support to the Washington Apple Educational Foundation that supports access to educational opportunities for families in the apple industry.

Horticultural Practices

Crave Organics is a fully certified organic orchard.

Our Chief Horticultural Officer helps to implement horticultural practices that promote ecological balance and minimize exposure to employees.

Orchard insect populations are monitored by scouting crews with college-level entomology training. We then implement an integrated pest management control plan that ensures worker safety and minimizes adverse environmental impact.

We carefully set and track the calibration of spray machines to assure that the optimal amount of material is applied with minimum waste.

We monitor crop nutritional needs by soil and leaf analysis performed by a certified laboratory. Accordingly, we establish application rates to minimize leaching of excess nitrogen into the soil profile.

We employ an irrigation specialist to measure water moisture in the soil profile to optimize irrigation scheduling. We avoid runoff, standing water, and leaching of nitrogen through the soil and into the water table.

We match our growing site with an apple variety that is most compatible, rather than trying to grow a crop that may have higher per box returns.

Business Practices

We develop our long-term business plan in close coordination with our packinghouse (McDougall & Sons, Inc.) and its marketing group (Columbia Marketing International, Inc.) to produce a product that will be in demand over time in local and export markets.

When possible, we strive to purchase local services and materials where available to develop a sustainable supply chain.

Through our close association with our packinghouse and its marketing group, we participate as a member of the GLOBAL G.A.P. organization, which specifies good agricultural practices to assure food safety and worker safety. We have passed internal audits with no minor or major corrections required.