Transparency is an important part of the sustainability journey for today’s consumer, so enabling foodservice operators to offer transparency around how and where products are produced is a priority for the team at Del Monte Fresh Produce.
Over the last five years, the company has added solar panels in multiple global facilities and has also incorporated bio-fuel for boilers and delivery trucks.
“One of our Mann Packing facilities in California utilizes wind turbine technology to help support their energy needs as well,” says Christou. “Another initiative includes an investigation into bio-gas production to capture methane, compost and liquid fertilizer from our Jordanian operations.”
Christou says the company has made excellent progress in waste reduction, including paper recycling programs involving more than 13,000 tons of corrugated material in 2017 and more than 130,000 tons of plastic in Central America since 1995. Del Monte has also initiated a “No Food to Waste” program that would capture products for an alternative market and reduce waste.
“Our goals remain to improve our energy and water efficiency by 10 per cent by the end of 2020,” says Christou. “We’re also working towards managing our water risk, including disclosure of our water usage for several years with CDP.”
Del Monte initiates transparency regarding its carbon-footprint awareness and governance. Its Costa Rican banana operations are SCS Carbon-Neutral certified and it is pursuing certification in the Costa Rican pineapple farms later this year.
Sustainability initiatives may start at the top, but Christou says having employee buyout throughout all levels of the company is key to success.
“Sustainability initiatives inspire our employees and often take on a life of their own as staff recognize the collective impact of the local decisions they make every day.”