The success of our business is intertwined with responsible stewardship of nature, the source of our products and profits.
The success of our business is intertwined with responsible stewardship of nature which is the source of our products. As such, we continuously improve our agricultural practices and oversight of growers, and communicate our Environmental Policy to our stakeholders as we support sustainable processes to enhance our environmental footprint.
Our Environmental Policy is updated periodically to reflect new advances in best practice and better serve the Company’s operating needs. This policy is posted in our facilities, communicated to facility management and also incorporated in our training for operations staff.
One of the projects implemented to maintain DMPI’s world class plantation management system was the Drone Program which allows us to monitor the condition of the 25,000-hectare pineapple field in Bukidnon, Philippines. It captures pictures, including topography and color, which help determine the health of the plants and optimize inputs of production. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is also now being used to monitor the plantation and truck deliveries to ensure efficiency, productivity and safety at work.
Part of our Quality Policy in the Philippines is our commitment to environmental standards and sustainability objectives, statutory and regulatory compliance, and continuous improvement of our quality system by adhering to the highest ethical standards within our operations and in dealing with our business partners.
“There can be no Plan B because there is no
Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General
The foundation of DMPI’s sustainable agriculture practices is efficient land use. Ecologically-minded land use management was carried on from our pioneers who started farming in 1926.
Across over 90 years of operations, our land use practices are mainly aimed at improving plantation yield through ecologically friendly land preparation, plant disease management and chemical application, efficient water sourcing and drainage, and use of sustainable planting materials.
Our agricultural teams work closely with local farmers to adopt agronomic measures that can mitigate adverse consequences of crop agriculture on soil and water conservation. Responsible farming focuses on sustainable crop cultivation and efficient drainage systems, disease management and innovative as well as tried-and-tested practices, including minimizing build-up of surface water during heavy rain, and positioning grass strips at strategic points to slow down water flow.
The agricultural sector uses 70% of the world’s accessible freshwater supply, and many countries are reaching, or have already reached, their renewable water limits. With growing climate instability resulting in increasing droughts and other water pollution concerns, water scarcity is quickly becoming a top issue in the agriculture sector and governs where plants are grown, placing limits on productivity.
Managing water resources to maximize water efficiency, minimize pollution, and protect access to water for other users is truly a shared challenge for food processors.
Responsible farming focuses on sustainable crop cultivation and efficient drainage systems, with innovative as well as tried-and-tested practices, including minimizing build-up of surface water during heavy rain and positioning grass strips at strategic points to slow down water flow.
We look for ways to optimize water use in all of our toll manufacturing operations, reduce water usage and increase water reuse and recycling.
“In life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”
Our plantation in the Philippines is Global Good Agricultural Practices (GLOBALG.A.P.) certified, further affirming a management system focused on Food Safety, Worker’s Health and Safety, Environmental Protection and Conservation of Wildlife. GLOBALG.A.P. is a globally recognized private sector body that sets voluntary standards for agricultural products. Our plantation and pack house for fresh fruits have been certified ISO 9001:2015 for growing, harvesting and packing of fresh fruits by SGS United Kingdom Ltd. Systems and Services Certification body.
Our participation in the GLOBALG.A.P. certification process was voluntary and was a strategic response to customers’ demand for food safety worldwide. A Philippine Good Agricultural Practices (PhilG.A.P.) certificate issued by the Philippine Department of Agriculture also attests that our farms grow, pack and distribute fresh produce in conformance with international standards on food safety and quality.
We face opportunities and risks associated with climate change. Predicted impact of climate change, such as increased temperatures, less reliable water supplies, and more intense extreme weather events, can significantly impact our operations and supply chain.
We closely monitor our carbon footprint. While most manufacturing companies, including food companies, are carbon positive, meaning they emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than they sequester or absorb, the carbon footprint of Del Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI) is negative. DMPI is the largest producer of pineapples in the country and its vast 25,000-hectare pineapple plantation and forest areas reduce the amount of carbon dioxide, offsetting any emissions in the atmosphere. There are not many companies that are carbon negative or even carbon neutral. Less carbon emissions are better for the environment. DMPI, a leading manufacturer of food and beverages, is uniquely positioned amongst food companies to help mitigate climate change. DMPI plants various timber trees in plantation camps, company grounds and facilities. Bamboos are planted along field boundaries and non-arable land.
The Company continually assesses our investment opportunities in renewable energy solutions in each of our facilities. A number of renewable energy projects have been implemented across our facilities in the Philippines.
In the Philippines, Del Monte embarked on a renewable energy project that produces biogas using cannery wastewater. The waste-to-energy facility generates 2.8 MW of electricity. More significantly, cleansed water discharged at coastal waters of Macajalar Bay has Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels below government mandated levels. The waste-to-energy facility supports our Company’s long-range plan for increased production which ensures 100% wastewater treatment, and serves as a shield against unstable power supply and power cost increases.
We will continue to seek out energy reduction opportunities across all our facilities and invest in improvements that collectively reduce our air emissions, including GHG, and our operating costs.
“There is no such thing as “away”. When we throw something away, it must go somewhere.”
Annie Leonard, Proponent of Sustainability
We are also committed to sustainable waste management across our operations. We aim to reduce the overall consumption and usage of raw materials in all facets of our operation, including toll manufacturers. In line with this, we encourage the reuse of materials in all areas of operation. We promote the concept of recycling and the benefits of utilizing recycled materials. When disposal is the only option, we seek to dispose materials in an environmentally safe and responsible manner. We understand that the correct handling, storage and disposal of waste materials is essential to comply with environmental regulations and pollution prevention.
Our pineapple pulp waste disposal system, a pioneering effort which started in the 1950s, converts a by-product of the cannery into feed for our cattle farm at the plantation. This helps us reduce waste and cut costs.
Under our sustainability framework, we have significantly enhanced our stakeholder advocacy program for environmental conservation. Our carbon footprint remains carbon-negative. However, we continue to undertake many initiatives during the year to reduce process residues, strengthen energy conservation in all worksites and plantation homes, and explore more efficient energy sources.