From Farm to Spoon: Sustainability More Than A Buzzword At America's Leading Caviar Producer

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Earth Day is every day at Sacramento's Sterling Caviar whose focus is on environment, economic viability, and employees

Sterling Caviar is the nation's leading farm-raised caviar producer.

At Sterling's Sacramento-based farm, 100% of its effluent water is utilized by The Natomas Basin Conservancy - a habitat for Swainson's Hawk and other threatened plants and animals.

At Sterling Caviar – the Sacramento-based pioneer of farm-raised white sturgeon caviar – Earth Day is more than an annual occurrence; its founding principle of sustainability is an everyday mindset as well as the company's foundation.

Since its humble beginning more than 30 years ago, Sterling has been sourcing their prized caviar from farmed white sturgeon (Acipenser Transmontanus) – one of the more than twenty-five species of sturgeon present in the world. Not coincidentally, white sturgeon is native to North America’s west coast and, today, is one of the few species of sturgeon not listed as threatened or endangered on state, federal, and global listings.

“Selecting this species was a conscious decision on the part of the company at the time,” says Camron King, current President, Sterling Caviar. “From an environmentally responsible standpoint, it was the right thing to do. Economically, it made sense.”

Between 1987 and 1994, under the California Department of Fish and Wildlife broodstock collection permits, Sterling collected a relatively small number of native male and female white sturgeon from the surrounding Sacramento Delta with the purpose of developing its own stock. After breeding, these sturgeon were released back into the wild. Today, all white sturgeon which are harvested for Sterling’s caviar are farm-raised entirely in controlled environments by a committed staff of fish biologists and aquaculture specialists.

With four farms, it’s no surprise that Sterling is dependent on the quality and availability of water – a resource that the company does not take for granted, especially given its California location. Sterling’s Sacramento-based location provides a prime example of the company’s commitment to water stewardship. This farm utilizes complex mechanical and biological filtration systems to pump groundwater through its tanks, disinfecting and reusing the same water up to five times before it is discharged into settling ponds. At Sterling’s Sacramento-based farm, 100% of its effluent water is utilized by The Natomas Basin Conservancy which borders the location. The Conservancy serves as an artificially created habitat to threatened animals like Swainson’s Hawk and giant garter snake as well as a variety of other plants and animals. Any water not utilized by The Natomas Basin Conservancy is dispersed to surrounding agricultural farmlands.

“Our business relies heavily on highly-efficient technology systems for everything from water filtration and pumping to feeding and monitoring,” explains Bobby Renschler, Vice President of Operations. “These are not inexpensive systems to operate but – in the end – they ensure that we make the best use of our resources as well as provide us the tools to make excellent caviar.”

No less important to Sterling’s viability are its employees – a demographically diverse group of 30-50 individuals, including fish biologists, skilled aquaculturalists, and MBAs. Focused on retention and engagement, Sterling offers its permanent full- and part-time employees a competitive benefits package which includes vacation, sick time, dental, vision, a 401k plan with employee contribution/company match, and health plan options for both HMO or PPO plans, the premiums of which are paid by the company at 100%. As an added value to their health plan, Sterling offers its employees the option of creating a Health Savings Account (HSA), matching their employees’ monthly contributions at 100%.

“We truly believe that our employees are our most valuable assets,” says King. “And as our most valuable assets, we need to protect and nurture them; in essence, take care of the people who take care of us.”

In addition to a generous benefits package, Sterling provides its employees with regular opportunities for educational advancement as well as safety training. To learn more about Sterling Caviar or to purchase, visit

About Sterling Caviar
Located in California’s farm-to-fork capital of Sacramento, Sterling Caviar is America’s pioneer on sustainable sturgeon farming and sturgeon caviar production, and is the nation’s leading producer, supplying the majority of its domestic caviar production annually.

Consistently recognized for its sustainable farming practices and long-term protection of the species, Sterling’s caviar is exclusively produced from white sturgeon (Acipenser Transmontanus) – a species native to North America’s west coast. From hatching to maturity, its sturgeon are farm-raised entirely in controlled environments by a committed staff of fish biologists and specialists.

Sterling Caviar offers four premium grades of caviar – Classic, Royal, Supreme, and Imperial – in tin sizes ranging from 30g to 1000g. Until recently, much of Sterling’s caviar was designated for repackaging and distribution through one of the world’s largest and most premier caviar houses. Today, Sterling’s caviar is distributed directly, its high quality quickly making it a favorite among some of the country’s finest restaurants and resorts.

For more information about Sterling Caviar or to purchase, visit

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Camron King
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