Case Studies
Food and Beverage Processing

Tree of Life


Third Time’s the Charm

Tree of Life Inc. Wins Third Consecutive Gold Medal IPM Partner Award; Bloomington, Ind., Facility Named Inaugural “Hall of Fame” Member

Tree of Life Inc., the world’s leading marketer and distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods, serves more than 12,000 supermarkets and natural food stores each week via a network of 12 nationwide distribution centers.  The company’s 163,000 square-foot Midwest Distribution Center in Bloomington, Ind. ships and receives products around the clock with approximately 90 employees on site during a typical shift.

With its external auditor changing, a company could get nervous about meeting new standards and regulations.  But Tree of Life’s Midwest Distribution Center and Orkin Commercial Services met the change head-on, marking another year of pest control success.

“Tree of Life is truly dedicated to its partnership with Orkin,” said Orkin Branch Manager Eugene Hilger.  “We worked closely with Tree of Life to get up-to-speed quickly on all the standards of its new third-party auditor.”

Since 2003, Tree of Life and Orkin have partnered to implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that meets the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) requirements.  The facility’s IPM program ensures Tree of Life meets and exceeds NOP requirements by removing pest habitats, food sources and breeding areas; preventing access to the facility; and managing environmental factors including temperature, light, humidity, atmosphere and air circulation.  The result has been effective pest management, without a reliance on chemical treatments.

“Since partnering with Orkin Commercial Services, Tree of Life Midwest has received perfect scores in the pest management categories of many external and internal audits of the facility,” said Dave Boyer, Tree of Life’s Director of Operations.  “Our successful IPM partnership and a dedication by all the warehouse employees have allowed us to achieve excellence in all aspects of pest control.”

In 2006, Orkin and The IPM Institute of North America recognized Tree of Life as a Gold Medal IPM Partner Award winner for the third consecutive year.  The facility’s commitment to maintaining the high standards of its IPM program prompted an additional honor this year as the inaugural member of the Gold Medal IPM Partners Hall of Fame.

As the first member of the Gold Medal IPM Partners Hall of Fame, Tree of Life sets the precedent – and a very high bar – for all companies to follow.