3CE is honored to share the work of Monterey Pacific, Inc. (MPI), founded in January of 1992, by owners/operators Steve and Kim McIntyre. MPI provides professionally applied agricultural expertise for vineyards located in the Central Coast Region of California. They manage vineyards for big and small landowners at competitive rates and provide shipping of the finished grapes. McIntyre was one of the leading pioneers to plant cover crops in row middles, a practice now seen as the norm for winegrowers in California and around the world.
These days, Monterey Pacific manages 40+ sustainably certified vineyards, focusing on the environmental, social, and economic aspects of farming. For example, they encourage growers to track energy expenditures and to record these metrics which contribute to calculating total GHG emissions from operations. They also use WEXUS technologies to monitor their pumps and wells in real-time to make sure growers are not irrigating during peak hours. MPI signed up with Central Coast Community Energy about 3 years ago, approximately 75% of their energy is sourced from renewables like solar, wind and hydro. In 2020, they installed their first solar panel array at their main office, and plan on installing more on their vineyard shops as well as a floating array on one of their reservoirs!
Today more and more winemakers are requiring that the grapes they buy from growers be certified sustainable and some retailers are setting their own sustainability goals to be met by 2025. Before this trend Monterey Pacific had become 100% certified sustainable as early as 2016. Steve McIntyre helped draft the first sustainability program and was one of the founding members of the Vineyard Team, the non-profit that oversees SIP certifications. McIntyre believes that, “Sustainable farming is a self-correcting discipline that utilizes a self-assessment scoring system to evaluate one’s progress. It combines best management practices from other farming systems, like organic and biodynamic, to positively impact an organization’s triple bottom line: fiscal, environment and society. Sustainability is not about standards, it’s about metrics.“
What prompted Monterey Pacific to be so invested in sustainability goes beyond the good marketing, it helps their company stay afloat even during difficult times. This year, with all the fires raging along the West Coast, and the uncertainties with harvest and COVID-19, things seem as unsustainable as they can possibly get. But the programs require them to plan for emergencies, draw out budgets, train workers on safety, meet with financial advisors, have a business plan, etc. Unlike other certifications, the Sustainability programs are very inclusive and the more growers that participate in them, the better.
Central Coast Community Energy is delighted to recognize Monterey Pacific’s pioneering work and values their focus on the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable farming. A true leader among our local farming community and beyond, they exemplify how sustainability brings competitive rates and better prepares organizations for uncertain times.
If you would like to learn more about Monterey Pacific, please visit their website.