Nurturing Nature

 

 

The success of our business is intertwined with responsible stewardship of nature, the source of our products and profits.

 
 
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Around our community in Bukidnon, Philippines

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.

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Pineapple spray operation in Bukidnon, Philippines

 

Fertilizer and Pesticide Use

 

 

 

 

“There can be no Plan B because there is no
planet B.”

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.

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Pineapple plantation in Bukidnon, Philippines

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.

 
 
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Fruit receiving line in cannery

Water Management

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.

  1. DMPI uses the condensate (water from steam and pineapple juice) of our evaporators and permeate (water from mill juice) from our Reverse Osmosis (RO) system for Ultrafiltration System CIP and Ion Exchange Plants regeneration. These allow us to use less fresh water and avoid water treatment costs.
  1. Our PET Plant Operations measure the Water Use Ratio (WUR), i.e. total cubic meter of water used per MT of finished product, or the volume of groundwater used per volume of beverage product. Our WUR in the PET Plant for FY2018 is 11.29, below the 11.87 maximum target.
  1. The Pet Plant’s water conservation Initiatives include:
    a. Improve WUR by 10%
    b. Improve RO efficiency from 45% to 64%
    c. RO water recovery system
    d. Activation of additional Activated Carbon Filter tank
  1. Our toll manufacturers have water conservation programs to eliminate waste and reduce water usage. Wastewater discharges of all toll manufacturing lines are within regulatory standards. WUR in beverage and culinary toll manufacturers are monitored and will be reduced each year.
 
 
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Pineapple planting in Bukidnon, Philippines

 

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

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.

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DMPI Plantation Director Alejandro G Chavarria inspecting a pineapple field in the Philippines

  1. Landholdings are leased by the Company from lawful landowners by virtue of their respective ownership or stewardship documents as attested by concerned government agencies.
  1. DMPI installs soil conservation measures in pineapple fields. For better soil and drainage management, the Crop Growing Units implement deepening of ditches and install auxiliary canals and silting basins specially designed for each field.
  1. Trees and shrubs are planted along river easement near pineapple fields to prevent soil erosion.
  1. Our agricultural team conducts soil erosion studies and has developed a soil conservation manual.
  1. We also reinforce technical competency through continuous training and education on soil management to reduce soil erosion in our plantation.
  1. With better fruit quality and greater operational efficiency, we have initiated programs to:
    a. Minimize waste and improve efficiencies in electricity and water consumption
    b. Increase usage of recycled but viable packaging materials
    c. Measure production efficiencies via 5S, Total Productive Maintenance and 6 Sigma
    d. Enhance the health and well-being of our workforce and their families
    e. Ensure compliance of our service providers with local labor laws
  1. The Company cooperates with agrarian reform beneficiaries and the Philippine Department of Agrarian Reform towards efficient implementation of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
  1. Some of the soil conservation measures done in the Philippines are standardized basin design, using bamboo as check-dams following standard spacing and installation of back-slopes on roads.
 
 
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The generator sets for the waste-to-energy facility in Philippines

 

Climate Change Adaptation and Energy Efficiency

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. 

  1. Del Monte in the Philippines embarked on a renewable energy project that produces biogas using cannery wastewater.

    a. This plant complements the job done by an equally eco-effective but power-intensive aerobic treatment plant.
    b. This plant highlights our commitment to environmental stewardship on reduction of our GHG in compliance with the Clean Air Act of the government -- recycling while enhancing our business competitiveness through reduced energy costs.
    c. This plant reduces the yearly energy cost of the company by approximately 40 million pesos because it is 20% cheaper than the grid which mostly relies on coal-fired plants.
  1. We received the Outstanding Award in the Don Emilio Abello Energy Effiency Awards in 2017.
  1. By using the waste-to-energy facility in the Philippines, we have reduced 29% of the cannery’s power cost per kwh.
 
 
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River clean-up drive by Del Monte employees in Laguna, Philippines

 

Waste Management

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“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.

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Coastal Clean-up of Macajalar Bay, Philippines

  1. Awards received in Pollution Control Association in the Philippines include “The Outstanding Pollution Control Officer Award” and 1st Runner-up for “Mother Nature Award.”
  1. Our PET Plant Operation implements a solid waste segregation program in order to capture recyclable wastes and sell them as scrap materials.
  1. All toll manufacturers practice waste segregation, and waste management is part of new employees’ training of our toll manufacturers. DMPI ensures that all toll manufacturers comply with water and smoke discharge regulations.
 
 
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Tree planting activities by Del Monte employees

 

Biodiversity and the Environment

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.

  1. Through its coffee production project, the Del Monte Foundation is able to assist 22 families who maintain the 3-hectare coffee farm in Bukidnon, Philippines. It will take 2 more years for the coffee plants to bear fruit and be harvested.
  1. In the Philippines, we also spearheaded the River Rehabilitation Project: Vetiver Planting. This project is a recipient of the World Water Day Award 2018 “Kampeon ng Lawa (Champion of the Lake).”
  1. Part of our CSR initiatives of our toll manufacturers are the Waterbody Program and Quarterly Orchestrated Clean-up by the Department of Environmental Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau. The theme was World Water 2018: “Nature for Water”. Pro Foods International Corporation, one of our tollpackers, was assigned the Butuanon River for continued protection and revitalization of our adopted rivers.
  1. Our PET Plant has the Environmental Compliance Certificate ECC-R4A-1504-0291 and Laguna Lake Development Authority Clearance PC-20a-016-00199.
  1. The PET Plant is an active member of Cabuyao River Protection Advocates.
  1. Clean-up Day and Adopt-A-Creek Projects were also conducted in the Philippines.
  1. Our tree planting program in Mindanao, Philippines, started using mostly endemic tree species seedlings sourced from nurseries sustained by local indigenous people to provide a haven for wildlife to flourish.