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Sustainability is our Way of Life

Here at Musselman’s, our family farmers are experts at nurturing the land that has provided for their families for generations. They have to be sure that the same fields and orchards that their great grandparents tended will be bountiful and productive for their children, grandchildren and beyond. As a company, we know that clean air, water and soil are the building blocks for creating clean, healthy foods for your family and ours. Here are just a few of the sustainability initiatives that set us apart from our competitors.

Apples Sustainability Spotlight: Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay 2022 Forests Program

Apples 2021 Environmental Stewardship Award

Knouse Foods (Musselman’s parent company) was presented with the 2021 Environmental Stewardship Award. The award included Citations from the PA House of Representatives, the PA Senate, and the Adams County Commission.  The Peach Glen Plant was recognized for two alternative ‘clean energy’ generation projects.

Our Solar Field of 14,000 panels produces approximately 4,100,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, enough for over 400 homes.

Our new Industrial Food Processing Wastewater Treatment Facility processes 45,000,000 gallons of water per year, 76% of which are directly reused. It is also equipped with a biogas-burning engine which produces 10,000,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 1,600 tons per year, the equivalent of removing 300 cars from the highway.

Knouse Foods is Committed to Sustainability: Our family of grower owners has relied on the environment for our livelihoods for more than 70 years. This success continues to drive Knouse Foods toward the expansion of further sustainability programs.  Thanks to everyone involved in ensuring our orchards will grow for the next generation of farmers.

Apples Our Environmental Responsibility

Musselman’s and our farming families have relied on the environment for our livelihoods for more than 100 years. Sustainability is not something new to us—it’s why we are still here today. And ensuring our orchards will grow for the next generation of farmers is why we’ll still be here tomorrow.

Not only do we pledge to meet or exceed existing environmental regulations, we also apply new approaches to cut down on product waste and reduce power and water use. Learn more about the sustainability methods we put into practice every day at Musselman’s.

Water Initiatives

  • A new wastewater treatment facility at the Peach Glen plant began operation in August 2018. The facility processes 45 million gallons of water per year and returns it to the local water table.
  • Each year, 160 million gallons of water from our six processing plants irrigates grass fields and cleanly re-enters local watersheds.
  • Improvements on our fresh apple, cherry and peach processing lines save more than five million gallons of water per year.

Energy Initiatives

  • Over 14,000 solar panels cover 19 acres and deliver 31% of the power to our Peach Glen plant.
  • Residual steam, from the new wastewater treatment facility, provides 45% of the energy demand of the Peach Glen plant.
  • Five of our production plants use boilers modified to run on recycled motor oil. These boilers reuse oil from the equivalent of 2.4 million car oil changes each year.
  • Our Orrtanna plant generates much of its own electricity with the help of a natural gas-fired jet turbine engine. Waste heat from the jet engine is then used to make steam for processing lines, which eliminates the need for another fuel-burning boiler.
  • Our clean-fuel fleet trucks drive on a blend of soybean-based bio-diesel fuel.

Planting & Soil Initiatives

  • Our growers continually use innovative orchard planting practices like trellising to reduce their environmental footprint while increasing yield per acre.
  • To protect our local natural environments, we constructed a wetland area at our Peach Glen property and a grassy waterway at the Biglerville site.

Production Initiatives

  • Practically every part of the apple is used to make delicious products for your family. Six million pounds a year of our apple pomace (the pressed apple material from juice production) is repurposed locally as livestock feed. Peels and cores from apple sauce production are sent to the cider mills for juice pressing. And tiny, grade-out apples from the slicers get slow-cooked in kettles for apple butter.
  • We use only repairable apple bins in the fall harvests. Each year, nearly 200,000 wood bins and 100,000 recyclable plastic bins are repaired and returned to the growers’ orchards for the next year.
  • Our packaging and box designs have evolved to greatly reduce the amount of wasteful cardboard needed to ship Musselman’s products to grocery stores.
  • All cardboard in our packaging is 30% consumer-recycled board.

Community Initiatives

  • Ponds originally created for fire protection of the Orrtanna Plant are now open to public fishing through cooperative programs established with the Mummasburg Sportsmen’s Club (Trophy Trout Program), the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (Cooperative Trout Nursery Program and Mentoring Day), and the Adams County Fish & Game Club (Trout Nursery Operation).
  • Our four manufacturing plants in Adams County, Pennsylvania, were honored by the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce with a “GREEN Business Recognition” award for our efforts in water conservation, energy conservation and waste minimization.

Many of these programs have been joint efforts with local, municipal, county, state and federal agencies and citizens’ groups, and we want to thank them for all their assistance.