Preserving Nature

 

 

Our business depends on responsible stewardship of nature, the source of our produce that will sustain our future.

 
 
corn truck-01

Corn harvest transferred to a truck for processing

As a food company, our produce relies on responsible stewardship of nature to sustain our future. We continuously improve our agricultural practices and oversight of growers and communicate our Environmental Policy to our stakeholders.

Ecologically-minded, efficient land use management is foundational to Del Monte Philippines, Inc.’s (DMPI) sustainable agricultural practices, having been executed since 1926 by our farming pioneers who did not clear forests to establish pineapple fields. Additional land later acquired was cultivated with other crops.

Beyond 95 years of operations, our land-use practices have been focused on improving plantation Pineapple plantation in Bukidnon, Philippines yield through ecologically friendly land preparation, use of sustainable planting materials, plant disease management, plant nutrient application, and efficient water sourcing and drainage.

DMPI complies with environmental regulations and requirements of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Solid and Hazardous Waste Management.

Certification audits are conducted on a periodic basis to ensure the Company follows the certification standards including environmental audits. GLOBALG.A.P. and PhilGap certification includes Environment Management System (Site Management, Soil Management, Fertilizer Application Management, Water Management, Integrated Pest Management and Plant Protection Products Management), Food Safety, Quality Management System, and Workers Occupational Health and Safety.

Part of DMPI’s Internal Audit department is to identify environmental areas to be audited through a review of external audits’ scope, process, and audit results. Based on these, they determine if it requires further audits.

DMPI’s close-to-a-century of growing and manufacturing attests to how it has sustained the environment and operations.

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Nature 2Vegetable planting in Wisconsin, USA

 

Soil Management

 

 

 

“In life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”
Paul Newman

As efficient management of soil directly impacts our long-term productivity, we focused on regenerating topsoil and improving biodiversity on and below the ground.

  1. To facilitate soil management, DMFI asked growers to:

    a. Conduct consistent soil sampling to manage soil fertility
        and health

    b. Apply our model pesticide control program

    c. Use pest-resistant varieties where available

    d. Rotate crops to minimize the effect of soil insects and
         diseases

  2. We encourage our farmers to work with qualified agronomists to innovate farm practices and technologies to boost crop yields, control pests and weeds, and protect the environment. Understanding the agronomics of a new variety in a growing area is important for environmental adaptation.

  3. DMFI increased its cover crop acreage by 18% from FY20 through 50 of its 96 growers.

    2-1
    Pineapple planting operation

  4. In the Philippines, DMPI is working on a soil conservation project to maintain land productivity, mitigate topsoil loss, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of soil nutrients. 

  5. For better soil and drainage management, the Crop Growing Units dredged ditches, installed auxiliary canals and silting basins designed for each field, and planted along river easement near pineapple fields to prevent soil erosion.

  6. DMPI implemented a block layout system depending on topography and utilized drone images for topography maps and hydrology analysis for a more precise design. The Company built catchment basins in strategic locations around the field.

  7. The Company does soil ripping in lieu of plowing to retain more organic matter on the top layer of the soil profile and incorporate pineapple plant residues in the field to maintain soil organic matter at desirable levels.

  8. DMPI implemented the Big Planting Materials program, through which the Company expects to phase out the use of extra small seeds, and plant big and regular planting materials.

  9. The Company planted cover crops as ground covers along main road shoulders before the boundary canal. DMPI maintained the grass levels on side slopes of permanent waterways to prevent erosion after heavy rains.

  10. Perimeter canals were also created to serve also as catchment area of soil deposits which are later excavated back to the field.

  11. Other soil conservation initiatives include:

    a. Installed check dam in all secondary canals at 1.5 - 3.0
        meters depending on the slope

    b. Built mini silting basin at the end portion of all secondary
         canals following the last three tertiary canals

    c. Established easement area of 20 meters from creeks and
        rivers

    d. Planted shrubs and trees along the 20 meters easement
        areas along creeks and rivers to prevent erosion

    e. Minimized the number of excavated main canals based
        on the computation set for a certain field topography

    f. Reduced each secondary and tertiary canal to certain
       dimensions

  12. The Company has a soil map used by our Agricultural Research Laboratory to regularly analyze soil nutrients except nitrogen and organic matter.

  13. DMPI uses a soil and water assessment tool program to monitor the health status of our resources.

  14. DMPI’s Drone Program monitored the pineapple field in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.  These drone images displayed the land topography and assisted in land preparation – planning of roads, canals, and ditches.  The use of drone sensors produced a complete image of a field when planting is completed; seeds take root and show growth within 2-3 months after planting.

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Using drones to map the pineapple plantation in Bukidnon

 
 

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Irrigating our pea farm in Wisconsin

 

Water Management

We implemented the least water-intensive cultivation methods available and encouraged the use of more water-efficient irrigation systems.

  1. In the U.S., our growers use various irrigation systems to supplement natural rainfall and ensure a steady and reliable water supply for their crops. 

  2. DMFI evaluated water risk based on local availability and quality in areas where our plants operate and at the farm level where we contract with growers. 

  3. We demonstrated our concern for water scarcity through stronger regulations and necessitating water use monitoring and management. DMFI reduced its water usage by 26% in FY2021. 

  4. Nearly all Del Monte tomato growers utilize drip irrigation, a less water-intensive cultivation method, for targeted application of water and fertilizer. 

  5. We recycled the cooling water from our cans to run our cooling towers and reduce fresh water and energy usage. 

  6. The relevant managers in charge of operations are responsible for water use. 

  7. To conserve fresh water usage and avoid water treatment costs, DMPI used water from steam and pineapple juice of our evaporators and from mill juice from our Reverse Osmosis (RO) system for Ultrafiltration System Clean-in-place (CIP) and Ion Exchange Plants regeneration. 

  8. Our cannery and bottling plant operations in the Philippines monitor the Water Use Ratio (WUR), i.e. liters of water used per common case. Our combined WUR in the two facilities is 9.6 liters/case in FY2021, 3% lower than prior year. Both manufacturing facilities’ target is to reduce WUR by 10% by FY2026.


  9. Some of the initiatives of the bottling plant that improved water management are:

    • Backwashing activity was reduced from eight times a
      month to twice a month

    • Optimization of rinsing time during CIP

    • Installation of soft water line control timer for shutdown
      operation

    • Training for awareness on water treatment from
       third-party suppliers

  10. Our toll manufacturers’ water conservation programs eliminated waste and reduced water consumption. Wastewater discharges of all toll manufacturing lines are within regulatory standards. WUR in beverage and culinary toll manufacturers are monitored and reduced each year.
 
 
 
 
plant nutrient-01

Plant nutrient application in a pineapple field in Bukidnon

 

Fertilizer and Pesticide Use

 

 

 

 

 “There can be no Plan B   because there is no       planet B.”
 Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General

We help growers apply the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to minimize pesticides.

Del Monte Foods, Inc. (DMFI) connects our growers and consumers through partnership with the Stewardship Index of Specialty Crops organization and CropTrak™ for their crop data management system, providing detailed information on how vegetables are grown.

 

fertilizer-01Pineapple plantation in Bukidnon, Philippines

  1. In the U.S., CropTrak™ monitors cover crops, which help increase organic matter, reduce wind and soil erosion, sequester carbon, filter water, control weeds, and manage nutrients. 

  2. DMFI field staff and growers closely monitor crop conditions through field scouting, pheromone traps and cultural tools, while soliciting feedback on how to best grow these plants and implementing pest control and crop disease mitigation strategies to avoid pest outbreaks. 

  3. By limiting pesticide use, we reduce the probability of contaminated runoff from fields, protect the health of farm workers, prevent the destruction of beneficial insects and other field organisms, and ultimately decrease the likelihood of pesticide residue on the crop when it is harvested and processed. 

  4. We have participated in a number of IPM-related partnerships and initiatives to share knowledge and best practice, such as understanding pest life cycles and how to monitor their movement. Pests in our crops are anything undesirable including diseases, insects, rodents, and weeds.

  5. Our researchers investigate crop density to increase yield per hectare while cutting pesticide and fertilizer use and exploring the possibility of rolling out high-density techniques to other crops.

    grape-01
    Grape vineyard in California, USA

  6. DMFI provides our growers with plants that are naturally resistant to diseases and insects, reducing fertilizer and chemical use in farms.

  7. Due to these improvements, we have reduced our spraying from an average of 7 applications to 1.5 applications, and from about 2 kilos of active pesticide ingredient to about 7.6 grams of active ingredient.

  8. By concentrating on IPM strategy, we have reduced our pesticide use in green beans by 96% on active ingredient bases. 

  9. We actively complete pesticide residue tests for over 1,000 products each year. Pesticides found are removed from our products and the fields they were cultivated from. This feedback loop allows close examination of the impact that new pesticides might exhibit in our products and development of higher standards of growing.

  10. In the Philippines, Del Monte is working on Rainforest Alliance certification by FY2023. Part of the plan is to implement an Integrated Pest Management Program. DMPI has begun replacing and discontinuing certain hazardous chemicals. To date, the Company has replaced six chemicals. 

  11. The Company also completed an orientation with Rainforest Alliance in February 2021 to go through an overview of the Rainforest Alliance standard version 2020 that took effect in June 2021 and is preparing to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification by FY2023.
 
  

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Waste clean-up drive

 

Waste Management

 

 

 

“There is no such thing as “away”. When we throw something away, it must go somewhere.”
Annie Leonard, Proponent of Sustainability

We aim to reduce the overall consumption of raw materials in our operation, encourage the reuse of materials, and promote responsible disposal.

  1. In the U.S., we benchmarked our waste management practices and compared landfilling to recycling rates to ensure efficient management of waste streams. 

  2. We instituted a “Ner0 (Near Zero) Landfill” policy that diverts up to 98% of waste from reaching the landfill based on EPA’s Waste Reduction Hierarchy. 

  3. Our Walnut Creek Research Center (WCRC) in California received a “RecycleSmart” Award from the Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority for our food waste recovery efforts. 

  4. WCRC is certified as a Bay Area Green Business for its efforts to conserve water, energy and waste, implement eco-friendly materials, and engage employees in best conservation practices. Our Headquarters are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified. 

  5. We are actively involved in the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, a collaborative effort between the Consumer Brands Association (formerly Grocery Manufacturers Association), Food Marketing Institute, and National Restaurant Association.

  6. DMFI joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition to partner with leading packaging suppliers and consumer packaged goods companies for sustainable packaging solutions that deliver delicious shelf-stable food. 

  7. We treated wastewater discharged from our agroindustrial facilities with effluent treatment plants.

  8. In the last ten years, DMPI reduced 3,077 MT of packaging materials and generated savings of about US$ 2.7 million. Of this, we reduced our plastic usage and flexible packaging by 800 MT, equivalent to a reduced usage by 21% and 16.5%, respectively, through downgauging.

  9. Del Monte pursues packaging sustainability goals and reduces packaging carbon footprint. We implement ongoing plastic packaging reduction initiatives and have set a goal to use biodegradable PET bottles by FY2026. 

  10. Plantation-based families segregated domestic solid waste in their homes, and recyclable materials were sold to fund community projects.

  11. All toll manufacturers in the Philippines practiced waste segregation and management. DMPI ensured that all toll manufacturers comply with water and smoke discharge regulations. 

  12. The DMPL office in Manila is LEED Silver-certified, a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. The building systems conserve water and employees practice waste segregation.

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Nature 3

Solar panels in Hanford facility in California, USA

 

Climate Change Adaptation and Energy Efficiency

We have undertaken initiatives to reduce process residues, strengthen energy conservation in worksites, and explore more efficient energy sources.

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Benefits derived from the Bugo cannery's waste-to-energy system

  1. DMFI mitigated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adjusted operations and supply chain to the potential impact of climate change. We minimized carbon footprint by locating processing plants close to the fields where crops are grown. 

  2. Since 2009, DMFI has installed 6,400 solar panels covering over 37 square kilometers and producing 1.2 MW, more than 8% of total electricity requirements during non-pack season at our primary tomato production facility in Hanford, California. DMFI is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Program. 

  3. Del Monte’s Modesto plant installed a combined heat and power system, selective catalytic reduction unit, condensing economizer, and backpressure turbine generator in its boiler system which cut natural gas use by 20%.

  4. DMFI reduced its overall emissions by 13% compared with prior year:

    a. 88% reduction in scope 2 emissions from travel

    b. 31% reduction in owned-fleet gasoline usage

    c. 18% reduction in energy usage

    d. 5% reduction in natural gas consumption

  5. At least 50% of facilities in the U.S. utilized a companywide program to install condensing economizers and improve heat recovery and steam system efficiency. 

  6. In the U.S., our crops are locally sourced and travelled less than 160 kilometers from the field to the manufacturing gate and 560 kilometers from distribution center to retailer. 

  7. Del Monte Foods imported products from and exported products to Asia. Our contracted ocean container carriers are members of the Business for Social Responsibility’s Clean Cargo Working Group. 

  8. Six facilities installed condensing boiler stack economizers to use hot exhaust gases from boilers to preheat water in a heat-exchanger system, which improves the operating efficiency of the boilers by up to 12%, reducing the amount of natural gas needed to run the boilers by the same percentage.

  9. DMFI participates in the U.S. EPA’s SmartWay public-private program that benchmarks freight transportation efficiency to improve supply chain sustainability. 

  10. DMPI believes it has a negative carbon footprint, based on the Inter Panel Climate Change (“IPCC”) guidelines, given its vast 26,000-hectare plantation and around 610,000 trees which were planted to increase the forest cover around its plantation. DMPI’s carbon footprint (up to scope 2) had net sequestration of 490,382 metric tons of CO2 in the year ended December 31, 2020. 

  11. Del Monte’s waste-to-energy converts the cannery’s wastewater into renewable energy. The facility generates 2.8 MW of electricity and cleanses water discharged at coastal waters of Macajalar Bay, which has Biochemical Oxygen Demand levels better than government mandated levels of 100 mg/liter.

    waste to energy-01-1
    Waste-to-energy facility in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
  12. The waste-to-energy facility ensures 100% wastewater treatment and serves as a shield against unstable power supply and power cost increases.

    a. This plant complemented the job performed by an
        equally eco-effective but power-intensive aerobic
        treatment plant

    b. We are committed to environmental stewardship
         through reduction of our GHG in compliance with the
         Clean Air Act of the Philippines

    c. The waste-to-energy facility produced 17% of the
        cannery’s power requirement in FY2021

  13. DMPI’s bottling plant and Manila office purchase its electricity from a Retail Electricity Supplier (RES) to save on costs. Part of our electricity purchased from this RES came from renewable sources. 

  14. In FY2021, the International REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) Standards awarded the DMPI bottling plant 1,322 representing 1,322 MWh of electricity generated from renewable sources, while the JYCC building received 1,105 I-REC certificates.
 
 
  
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Bumble bees are part of our field's biodiversity

 

Environment

  1. The Del Monte Foundation pursued tree-growing efforts by partnering with schools and organizations in the plantation vicinity to gather tree-planting volunteers. 

  2. Our tree planting program in Mindanao, Philippines uses mostly endemic tree species seedlings sourced from nurseries sustained by local indigenous people.

    environment-01-1
    Tree-planting activity by Del Monte employees

  3. We have planted around 610,000 indigenous and commercial trees, including 60,000 in FY21, in different areas of the Bukidnon plantation through the Labor Management Councils of DMPI, the Foundation, and our cooperative partner DEARBC. 

  4. Our employees planted trees upon regularization in Mindanao. This practice increases the employees’ awareness to take care of the environment. Training program beneficiaries also planted trees in community tree parks before their graduation.

  5. The Foundation continues its 7-hectare agroforestry project with the Indigenous People community in Mt. Kitanglad that grows coffee and bamboo for livelihood to protect the forest from denudation.

    coffee-01
    Coffee growing project of the Foundation for IPs

  6. An IP organization, MAMACILA, and the Foundation inked an agreement to expand the latter’s nursery of native tree seedlings in Claveria, Misamis Oriental. The Foundation extended financial assistance for nursery establishment, which shall be repaid by MAMACILA in the form of seedlings. These shall be used for the reforestation of about 10 hectares assigned by the LGU to DMPI equivalent to 1% of the land that the company is leasing in the town.

  7. We are mindful of the diverse flora and fauna around the plantation and ensure they are protected and cared for.

  8. Part of the Company’s employee engagement in Bugo is the annual coastal clean-up of the shoreline of Macajalar Bay in Bantiles, Bugo, Cagayan de Oro City. 

  9. The bottling plant is an active member of Cabuyao River Protection Advocates. Cleanup Day and Adopt-a-Creek Projects were conducted. 

  10. Part of the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives of our toll manufacturers are the Waterbody Program and Quarterly Orchestrated Clean-up by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 

  11. The Company has a risk management and corporate compliance report that includes potential risks and issues raised by stakeholders concerning people, communities, the environment and the business. 

  12. We encourage our stakeholders to inform the Company of any environmental, regulatory and social issues. Any issues brought to the attention of management are discussed, and mitigating actions are conveyed to the concerned stakeholder, accordingly.

    cali coastal cleanup-01-1DMFI volunteers participated in the California Coastal Clean-up day