Hans Sauter, Fresh Del Monte ProduceHans Sauter, vice president, corporate QA, R&D and agricultural services for Fresh Del Monte Produce

Fresh Del Monte Produce has released its 2019 Sustainability Report, an issue that Dennis Christou, vice president, marketing, says has become a key part of the company’s culture.

The report sets goals that stand for the company’s values, but Hans Sauter, vice president, corporate QA, R&D and agricultural services, is adamant that the company has been living with sustainability as a core value long before it became as popular as it is today. “We package from sustainable sources, we buy from certified mills,” he says .

Christou adds that retailers show enormous interest in steps partners are taking to operate sustainably, and is a standard part of discussions. Both Christou and Christian Salnars, senior director of packaging, work on the Plastics Packaging Working Group of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), and Christou sees this as a huge and growing issue in Canada.

Sauter’s group produced the 2019 Sustainability Report, and presented the results at the recent Fresh Summit Conference & Expo of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). The report reaffirms Fresh Del Monte Produce’s commitment to doing business in a more sustainable way.

Fresh Del Monte Produce plans to further reduce emissions, achieving carbon neutrality across more of its operations and partnering with other organizations to multiply its impact.

Key takeaways:

  • Fresh Del Monte Produce has exceeded its 10-year target for reduction of energy consumption by 20 per cent (net 12 per cent reduction-per-ton of product).
  • Banana operations in Costa Rica have been certified as carbon neutral and have been since 2013.
  • Pineapple operations in Costa Rica were also recently certified as carbon neutral.
  • The company has certified all of its processing facilities and distribution centres under internationally recognized food safety standards ahead of its 2020 goal.
  • Over the past three years, the company has planted over 700,000 trees, well on its way to a goal of 2.5 million by 2025.
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