Where We Grow
Located in the southern California desert, the Coachella Valley region is home to our Caramel Naturel date palms. Because the region provides optimum growing conditions for Medjool dates and other date varieties, it is known as the “Medjool Center of the World” and produces 75% of all dates grown in the United States. With high temperatures, low humidity, and abundant water sources to supply the palm’s roots, the Coachella Valley is the perfect environment for the date palm to flourish. Prior to the building of modern dams, excessive flooding was common in the region. This fortified the soil in the Coachella Valley with the precise nutrients needed to grow the palms that produce our exceptionally healthy and flavorful fruit. These ideal growing conditions make Caramel Naturel dates superior in quality and richness to those grown anywhere else in the world.
Packing & Distribution
All Caramel Naturel dates are hand picked at the height of ripeness and packed on location using proprietary post-harvest handling techniques to ensure safety and preserve quality. These techniques were developed according to rigorous food safety guidelines determined by government agencies such as OSHA, FDA, USDA, and EPA. The state of California is the safest place for growing and shipping fresh produce because it has the strictest government compliance laws in the country and arguably, the world. Our post-harvest handling techniques enable us to provide superb quality products to our consumers throughout the year.
Caramel Naturel dates and date products are transported from the farm to our distribution center in Los Angeles, CA; strategically located for its proximity to international ports and Interstate railways and freeways. Our fresh California dates are sold throughout the world to large supermarket chains, wholesale clubs, independent grocers, specialty food stores, and farmer’s markets.
Our farming philosophy and practices revolve around four tenets of sustainable agriculture:
Sustainable Farming Systems
In the Coachella Valley, where Caramel Naturel dates are grown, exemplary water management systems have evolved to meet the demands of a vibrant agricultural region. Over two-thirds of agriculture in the region is irrigated by water imported from the Colorado River through an intricately designed system of canals. However, water management organizations in the area understand the importance of diversifying water usage to conserve and replenish water sources. Our crops are therefore irrigated by a combination of water sources. The majority of our crops will be irrigated throughout the year by the clean waters of the Colorado River, being supplemented predominantly by the Valley’s natural aquifer, or large underground water table, which is replenished by rainfall and snow melt.
Our commitment to water conservation through sustainable farming practices extends further. We choose to use drip irrigation as an appropriate method of micro-irrigation to greatly minimize water wastage. Date palms themselves are a very draught resistant plant, a characteristic that aids us in our water conservation efforts. They thrive in hot, arid climates, and the root system of the palm is quite small and shallow growing, making drip irrigation a very effective means of delivering adequate amounts of water while preventing waste.
Drip irrigation also proves helpful in the management of soil erosion. By using drip irrigation techniques, we are able to prevent large amounts of water from flooding the ground, which causes topsoil depletion and erosion of nutrient rich soil.
In further efforts to preserve topsoil on our farm, weeds are mowed as opposed to disked to prevent erosion.
Our growing efforts and their effect on the surrounding environment is as important to us as the health and the quality of the fruit we produce. Therefore no pesticides are used in the cultivation of Caramel Naturel dates. It’s rather lucky that the fruit of the date palm grows so high off the ground. Pestilence is therefore not a significant challenge in cultivation. Birds propose a threat to ripening fruit, but this is remedied by wrapping the fruit with canvas sacks to protect it with no harm to the birds. We are committed to avoiding pesticides in the interest of producing a pure and healthy fruit while minimizing harm to the environment.
The cultivation of Caramel Naturel dates does not rely on government subsidies to operate and thrive. It is important to us that we remain financially healthy and responsible in our efforts at sustainable agriculture and in the interest of the longevity of the company.
All workers involved in the cultivation and packing of Caramel Naturel products are offered a fair and competitive wage. We also have a long term commitment to providing a safe and healthy work environment for our team at every stage of the growing and packing process.