We use natural, innovative agricultural practices to control weeds, manage erosion, reduce insects and pathogens, and preserve soil health.
As the largest watermelon grower and shipper in the country, we recognize our impact on our customers, our environment, and the communities where we grow and do business.
We require that all Melon 1 farms and facilities not only adhere to federal, state, and local food safety regulations, but also our own stringent guidelines. Our high standards apply no matter where our melons are grown. Our in-house Food Safety Program is founded on the principles of Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) established by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).
We require regular quality assurance training and safety education for our farmers, employees, and staff.
We initiate frequent, certified third-party audits to verify that GAPs and GMPs are followed on our farms and in our facilities. These independent inspections monitor soil, water, fertilizer use, pest control methods, harvest practices, packing practices, shipping practices, and food safety and security procedures.
Did you know?
Seedless watermelons not bioengineered (GMO)! They are a hybrid created by the centuries-old farming process of cross-pollination.
We watch over every field, from monitoring irrigation water at every location and ensuring pesticide safety to staying current on EPA, FDA, and state and county laws for each unique growing region.
Over the decades, we’ve perfected cross-pollination techniques to fine-tune taste, disease resistance, and shelf life. All of our breeding processes rely on the natural reproductive process of the plant; there are currently no Genetically Modified (GMO) watermelon varieties in commercial production.
Our watermelons are hand picked in the fields and then sent to a packing facility for sorting, where they are inspected for quality and appearance by our highly trained staff. Because we are the highest-volume producer, we can be pretty picky; any watermelon not up to our standards simply doesn’t make the cut.
Our specialized barcode-based tracking system identifies the field and pack date of every piece of fruit for full traceability. In the rare event of a product quality concern or recall, Melon 1 can quickly pinpoint the affected product and if necessary, retrieve it throughout the distribution chain. We test our recall capabilities annually.
We only work with local, family-run farms around the U.S. and Central America. These independent growers play crucial roles in their local economies, and we’re proud to support local job creation and play a part in deepening community roots.
Ronald, Glen and Richard Lancaster, Lancaster Farms
Brothers Richard, Glenn, and Ronald Lancaster now represent the sixth generation of their family line engaged in the Lancaster enterprise. The four Lancaster cousins – Sarah Carraway along with Vann, Derek and Bryant Lancaster – represent the seventh generation, each assuming responsibility and leadership within different divisions of Lancaster Farms.
They also grow sweet potatoes, tobacco, peanuts, cotton, soybeans, corn, cucumbers and green peppers for a total of 8,000 acres annually.