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.

 

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PRESERVING NATURE

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

Pineapple plantation in Bukidnon, Philippines

In Del Monte Philippines, Inc (DMPI), efficient land use is the foundation of our sustainable agriculture practices. Ecologically-minded land use management has been carried out since the time of our pioneers who started farming in 1926 and did not clear forests to give way to pineapple fields. Additional land acquired later by our pioneers was already cultivated with other crops.

Across over 90 years of operations, our land use practices have been mainly aimed at improving plantation yield through ecologically-friendly land preparation, use of sustainable planting materials, plant disease management, chemical application and efficient water sourcing and drainage.

Our plantation in the Philippines is Global Good Agricultural Practices (GLOBALGAP) certified. We also have a Philippine Good Agricultural Practices certificate issued by the Department of Agriculture.

The first pineapple plantation in the world to be awarded by GLOBALGAP

GLOBALGAP honoured us with the Good Agricultural Practices Award (2018) for demonstrating high standards and excellent implementation of GLOBALGAP principles on our farms.

Our plantation and pack house for fresh fruits have been certified ISO 9001:2015 by SGS United Kingdom Ltd Systems and Services.

Pineapple harvest in Bukidnon

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

Fertiliser and Pesticide Use

Boom sprayer in Bukidnon, Philippines

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

1.  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 chance that any pesticide residue remains on the crop when it is harvested and processed.

 

2.  We have participated in a number of IPM-related partnerships and initiatives to share knowledge and best practice.

3.  Our researchers investigate crop density as a way to increase yield per hectare while cutting pesticide and fertiliser use and explore the possibility of rolling out high-density techniques to other crops.

4.  Our field staff educate and solicit feedback from our farmers on how to best grow these plants and implement pest control and crop disease mitigation strategies.

5.  Due to these improvements over a period of time, we have reduced our spraying from an average of seven applications, with a total of two kilograms of active pesticide ingredient to 1.5 applications and 90 grams of active ingredient.

6.  We actively complete laboratory tests for pesticide residues for over 1,000 products each year and, if we find any pesticide, we remove it from our products and the fields where our growers cultivated them.

7.  This feedback loop means we closely examine the impact that new pesticides might have on our products and that we develop higher standards of growing.

Water Management

We implement the least water-intensive cultivation methods possible and encourage the use of more water-efficient irrigation systems.

1.  We show our concern for water scarcity through stronger regulations and more calls for water use monitoring and management.  

 

2.  Nearly all Del Monte tomato growers utilise drip irrigation, a less water-intensive cultivation method, for targeted application of water and fertiliser.

3.  Our facilities have high or extremely high-water stress, which is why we capture and reuse water at our facilities.

 

4.  We recycle the cooling water from our cans and use it to run our cooling towers to reduce fresh water and energy usage.

5.  In order to reduce fresh water usage and avoid water treatment costs, DMPI uses the water from steam and pineapple juice of our evaporators and water from mill juice from our Reverse Osmosis (RO) system for Ultrafiltration System Clean-in-place (CIP) and Ion Exchange Plants regeneration.

6.  Our bottling plant operations in the Philippines measure the Water Use Ratio (WUR), i.e. cost of water used per litre of beverage product. Our WUR in the Bottling Plant for FY2020 is 21% below our target cost per litre.

 7.  Some of the initiatives of the bottling plant to improve water management are:

  • Installation of RO machine system
  • Backwashing activity was reduced from eight times a month to twice a month
  • Optimisation 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

8.  Our toll manufacturers have water conservation programmes 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 reduced each year.

Soil Management

Harrowing operation in a pineapple field in Bukidnon, Philippines

Since efficient management of soil directly impacts our long-term productivity, we focus on regenerating topsoil and improving diversity on the ground and even below the ground.

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

    1. Apply our model pesticide control programme
    2. Use pest-resistant varieties where available
    3. Rotate crops to minimise the effect of soil insects and diseases

2.  We encourage our farmers to work with qualified plant and soil scientists, or agronomists, to develop innovative farm practices and technologies which 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 adaptation to the environment.

3.  In the Philippines, the Company leases landholdings from landowners.

4.  For better soil and drainage management, the Crop Growing Units implement deepening of ditches, install auxiliary canals and silting basins specially designed for each field, and plant along river easement near pineapple fields to prevent soil erosion.

5.  DMPI implements a block layout system depending on topography and utilises drone image for topography maps and hydrology analysis for a more accurate design. The Company also installs catchment basins in strategic locations around the field.

6.  We use precision instruments for better land preparation to avoid soil compaction, crusting and damage to soil structure.

 7.  The Company makes use of a soil and water assessment tool programme to monitor the health status of our resources.

Using drones to map the pineapple plantation in Bukidnon


  • We also reinforce technical competency through continuous training and education on soil management to reduce soil erosion in our plantation.

 8.  Our Drone Programme allows us to monitor the condition of the 26,100-hectare pineapple field in Bukidnon, Philippines.


Plantation team with Alejandro G Chavarria, Plantation Director

 

 

Climate Change Adaptation and Energy Efficiency

1.  At least 50% of our facilities utilise our company-wide programme to install condensing economisers and improve heat recovery and steam system efficiency.

2.  Six facilities installed condensing boiler stack economisers 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.

3.  We have eliminated 3.7 million kilometres, the equivalent of approximately 1,476,310 litres of diesel fuel, from our distribution network through a variety of initiatives.

4.  Our carbon footprint in the Philippines has a net sequestration of 516,100 MT CO2, making DMPI carbon negative.

5.  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 below government mandated levels of 100 mg/litre.


Benefits derived from Bugo cannery’s waste-to-energy system 

  • The waste-to-energy facility ensures 100% wastewater treatment and serves as a shield against unstable power supply and power cost increases.
    1. This plant complements the job done by an equally eco-effective but power-intensive aerobic treatment plant
    2. This highlights our commitment to environmental stewardship through reduction of our GHG in compliance with the Clean Air Act of the government
    3. The waste-to-energy produces 20% of the cannery’s electricity requirement

 

Cannery Team with Frank T Molas, Mindanao Operations Head, and Alan Z Salcedo, Cannery Operations Director

 

Waste Management

Clean-up drive in the plantation

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

1.  We instituted a “Ner0 (Near Zero) Landfill” policy where we aim to divert up to 98% of waste from reaching the landfill based on EPA’s Waste Reduction Hierarchy.
2.  In 2019, we joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition to partner with leading packaging suppliers and consumer packaged goods companies to work toward sustainable packaging solutions that deliver delicious shelf-stable food.

 

3.  We treat wastewater discharged from our agro-industrial facilities through effluent treatment plants.

 4.  In the Philippines, our high-filtration extraction system processes excess juice into pineapple concentrate and syrup, significantly reducing volume of wastewater.

5.  We do 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.

6.  In the last ten years, we have reduced 3,077 MT of packaging materials.

7.  Plantation-based families segregate domestic solid waste in their own homes. Recyclable materials collected from households are sold to fund community projects.

8.  The DMPL office in Manila is LEED Silver-certified as it provides a framework for a healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green building.  This certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.

 

9.  Our bottling plant implements a solid waste segregation programme in order to capture recyclable wastes and sell them as scrap materials.

 10. All toll manufacturers in the Philippines practice waste segregation and waste management is part of the new employees’ training. DMPI ensures that all toll manufacturers comply with water and smoke discharge regulations.

 

 

Biodiversity and the Environment

Heterorrhina macleayi (Flower Beetle) species found in one area of the plantation in Bukidnon

(Photo Credit – Benjamin Mabanta)

1. Del Monte imports and exports product from and to Asia. Del Monte’s contracted ocean container carriers are members of the Business for Social Responsibility’s Clean Cargo Working Group.

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

3.  We have planted around 550,000 indigenous and commercial trees in different areas of the plantation in Bukidnon through the Plantation Environment Section of DMPI (130,000 trees), the Foundation (120,000 trees), and our cooperative partner DEARBC (300,000 trees).

 

Coastal Clean-up of the Macajalar Bay shoreline in Bugo, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines

4.  Cannery employees conducted their annual coastal Clean-up of the Shoreline of Macajalar Bay in Bantiles, Bugo, Cagayan de Oro City.


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

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

7.  Various flora and fauna are found around the plantation such as:

 

  1. Hedychium philippinense or the Philippine Camia (“Camia”)
  2. Amaurornis phoenicurus, White-breasted waterhen (“Tikling”)
  3. Xanthostemon verdugonianus, Philippine Iron Wood (“Magkono”)
  4. Spilornis holospilus, Serpent Eagle (“Banog”)

 

Hedychium philippinense or the Philippine Camia (Camia)

Amaurornis phoenicurus, White-breasted Waterhen (Tikling)

Xanthostemon verdugonianus, Philippine Ironwood (Magkono)

Spilornis holospilus, Serpent Eagle (Banog)

(All flora and fauna photos above contributed by Benjamin Mabanta)

Bees in a peach farm in California, USA

 

Fresh Fruit Operations Team with Alejandro G Chavarria, Plantation Head