Mellano & Company Achieves BloomCheck Certification


Mellano & Company recently received their BloomCheck Certification, recognizing their farm for their commitment to sustainable flower and green production.

Mellano & Company, a prominent presence on the landscape of California flower farming for more than 90 years, has recently achieved their BloomCheck certification for their sustainable practices on their farm in northern San Diego County.

For CEO Mike A. Mellano, being BloomCheck-certified helps make his business stronger both inside and out.

From the outside, it differentiates Mellano & Company’s flowers in the marketplace and certifies them as sustainably grown based on a set of domestic production standards.

From the inside, it strengthens the company by bringing its practices into sharp focus.

“Pursuing the BloomCheck certification required us to create targets and goals that helped us focus on improvement and be recognized for our commitment to environmental stewardship,” Mellano said. “BloomCheck puts us in a position to promote and communicate all the good things we’re doing as flower and greens farmers in California.”

Flower farmers that become BloomCheck certified have undergone a rigorous third-party audit to ensure they’re using best practices for sustainability when it comes to water, air and soil quality; wildlife protection; and social impacts on workers and the community. That means reducing energy use, recycling water, deploying biological pest management and following the law when it comes to state and federal employment rules and regulations.

Protected Harvest, an independent nonprofit organization that certifies the sustainability of agriculture operations, does the on-site auditing to ensure farms are meeting the standards.

Mike Mellano of Mellano & Company giving a tour of the company’s ranunculus production at The Flower Fields of Carlsbad.

“BloomCheck is the gold standard of sustainability claims within the floral industry,” shared Kasey Cronquist, administrator of the BloomCheck program. “We’re proud to recognize and announce Mellano & Company’s certification and the high bar of commitment to best practices and environmental stewardship it represents.”

Mellano is the third generation to run the family farm. It covers 375 acres at two locations in Oceanside and Carlsbad and produces more than 30 different items. Its ranunculus operation in Carlsbad is also a popular agri-tourism site.

At Mellano & Company, preparing for the BloomCheck certification took about 60 days. It was time well spent, Mellano said.

“I think it sets a path for us so that we can continually improve on what we’re doing,” he said. “That came through during the application process and all the tests. It pointed out the things we do that we don’t really think about.

“All of a sudden you had to think about it, you had to write it down and it creates a path of thinking, ‘Well, what can I do to improve on that?’ It creates some very useful prioritization and focus.”

The BloomCheck process was also a chance for Mellano & Company to publicly demonstrate its commitment to sustainability.

“The engagement and communication with our employees and customers makes this an outward, publicly visible statement that we are committed and passionate about sustainability.”

Albertsons Companies Welcomes BloomCheck Certification

Debi Lilly florals are found throughout Albertsons companies floral departments.

Albertsons recently added the BloomCheck certification program to its list of approved sustainability certification programs used to certify the plants, flowers and greens sold through their Debi Lilly line of floral products. BloomCheck provides retailers and their customers with a third-party certification that assures that farms are not only following the high standards involved with agriculture production in the United States, but are also committed to continuous improvements in best practices involved with growing flowers and plants.

“We’re pleased to provide Albertsons and Albertsons customers with a sustainability certification program for our domestic producers,” shared Kasey Cronquist, administrator for BloomCheck. “BloomCheck certification is a rigorous set of standards designed to help set our farms apart and accurately credit them on what it takes to produce flowers sustainability here in the United States.”

Farms that complete the BloomCheck certification have undergone a complete review of their production practices with an “on-farm” auditor from Protected Harvest. Protected Harvest is a third-party nonprofit organization responsible for accrediting BloomCheck’s standards and providing the third-party auditors involved with the verification of our farms’ practices.


BloomCheck, A Domestic Alternative

Increasingly, retailers today are seeking third-party verification systems that provide the guarantee and assurances consumers are coming to expect when claiming a product’s “sustainability.”

The majority of these claims have been created to provide environmental, climate control and human rights assurances of the production of foreign products that are then imported into the United States from countries where standards aren’t as high. For instance, RainForest Alliance is a non-governmental organization (NGO) created in 1987 to specifically combat deforestation and is now known for certifying everything from coffee, to bananas, to forest products and even tourism businesses in Latin America. Similarly, Fair Trade Certified was launched in 1998 to help, “rural farmers and workers around the world learn to navigate the global market and empower themselves on a journey out of poverty.”

In a market full of claims verifying the production practices of imports from third-world countries, BloomCheck was launched as a solution for farms specifically producing flowers, plants and greens here in the United States.

Why BloomCheck?

Because domestically produced flowers deserve to be recognized differently because they are produced differently.

The high bar of involved with legal production and regulatory oversight in the United States is the foundation upon which BloomCheck was built. It recognizes our domestic farms for what they already are required to do as producers here in the United States that are overseen by federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Department of Labor, state ag departments, county ag commissioners, water districts, etc., etc. With so many jurisdictions already in place for overseeing agriculture production practices in the United States, BloomCheck layers on the best practices in the floral industry and provides third-party auditors to help confirm for our retail partners and consumers that these farms are not just following the laws of the land, but that they are going even further to do their part to follow recognized best practices for sustainable production here in the United States.

If you’re a retailer that would like to learn more about BloomCheck, or a domestic farmer seeking certification, contact us for more information. Our team would look forward to sharing with you the BloomCheck difference.