Cleanfarms recognized for sustainability excellence

January 28, 2015, Winnipeg, MB – Canada’s leading agricultural stewardship organization, Cleanfarms, has been awarded a 2014 Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Award in the Sustainability in Pollution Prevention and Product Stewardship category.

Cleanfarms was recognized for its commitment to sustainability based on accomplishments in the fields such as pollution prevention, waste minimization and education and awareness of the value of sustainable development.

“Our members are pioneers in the field of product stewardship. They have been delivering effective industry-led end of life stewardship for the past 25 years, long before other industries were even thinking about it,” says Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms. “This award is particularly meaningful to us because it really focuses on tangible outcomes, which is what Cleanfarms, its members and the 110 municipal collection sites who help us deliver programming, are committed to every day.”

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the plant science industry’s empty pesticide container program, one of Canada’s first and longest running stewardship programs. Over 600,000 containers were diverted from Manitoba landfills in 2013. The launch of the obsolete pesticide collection program followed in 1998. The last obsolete pesticide collection program took place in Manitoba in 2012 when close to 75,000 kilograms of obsolete product was collected and safely disposed of.

The industry’s commitment to end of life management continues to grow with recent program add-ons which include the addition of obsolete animal health medications to the obsolete pesticide collection program and a partnership with Green Manitoba to pilot plastic film and twine collections in the province this spring and fall.

“Manitoba farmers are committed to using environmentally sustainable practices, and Cleanfarms provides us with one more tool to do this,” said Curtis McRae, vice-president of Keystone Agricultural Producers and chair of its Environment and Land Use Committee. “The strong farmer participation in Cleanfarms’ programs is an indication of our willingness to adopt practices that will protect the environment.”

The Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Awards recognize and honour people, projects and ideas that successfully translate the principles and guidelines of sustainable development that were developed by The Manitoba Round Table for Sustainable Development into concrete and lasting achievements.

For more information on Cleanfarms’ work in Manitoba, please visit www.cleanfarms.ca.

For more information about the award, please visit http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/susresmb/mrtsd/mesa/.