Our business depends on responsible stewardship of nature, the source of our produce that will sustain our future.
DMPI’s close to a century of growing and manufacturing attest to how it has sustained the environment and its own operations.
Efficient and ecological land use management is foundational to Del Monte Philippines, Inc.’s (DMPI) sustainable agricultural practices which started nearly a century ago in 1926. Our farming pioneers did not clear forests to establish pineapple fields. Additional land later acquired was cultivated with other crops.
Our land-use practices have been focused on improving plantation yield through ecologically friendly land preparation, use of sustainable planting materials, plant nutrient application, efficient water sourcing, drainage and plant disease management.
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 complies with 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.
Pineapple planting in Bukidnon, Philippines
As efficient management of soil directly impacts our long-term productivity, we focused on regenerating topsoil and improving biodiversity on and below the ground.
DMPI is working on a soil conservation project to maintain land productivity, mitigate topsoil loss, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of soil nutrients.
The Company conducted a thorough review of its Soil Conservation manual and revision was made on canal geometries and water velocities.
The Company plants cover crops as ground covers along main road shoulders before the boundary canal and maintains the grass levels on side slopes of permanent waterways to prevent erosion after heavy rains.
The Crop Growing Units uses the drone images to dredge ditches, install auxiliary canals and silting basins for each field, and plants along river easement near pineapple fields to prevent soil erosion.
DMPI’s Drone Program displays the land topography and monitors the pineapple field in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. Drone sensors produce a complete image of a field when planting is completed. Seeds take root and show growth within 2-3 months after planting.
The Company has a soil map used by our Agricultural Research Laboratory to regularly analyze soil nutrients except nitrogen and organic matter.The Company’s Drone Program allows it to monitor the condition of the 26,000-hectare pineapple field in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. DMPI uses a soil and water assessment tool program to monitor the health status of our resources.
DMPI uses Meteoblue high-resolution weather data to measure the five-day and fourteen-day rainfall on location-specific and hourly and daily resolution forecast in each field.
The Geomatics team demonstrates near-infrared spectroscopy to detect changes in internal maturity and translucency in fresh fruits using a non-destructive inspection.
The team implemented a new workflow for detecting field depression for quality of land preparation after the 2nd pass chopping. By processing topography drone flight data following a specialized workflow, it enables the early detection of possible waterlogging in fields even before planting took place.
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.
We recycled the cooling water from our cans to run our cooling towers and reduce fresh water and energy usage.
To conserve freshwater usage and avoid water treatment costs, DMPI uses 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.
Our cannery and bottling plant operations in the Philippines monitor the Water Use Ratio (WUR), i.e. liters of water used per common case. The Group’s combined WUR is 11.06 liters/kilogram in FY22, flat vs. prior year.
Our toll manufacturers’ water conservation programs eliminate waste and reduce 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.
The foundation of DMPI’s sustainable agriculture practices is efficient land use. Ecologically-minded land use management was carried on by 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 the 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.
Del Monte is working on obtaining Rainforest Alliance certification by FY23. The Company implemented an Integrated Pest Management Program for its pineapple plantation and begun replacing and discontinuing certain hazardous chemicals. The Company is discontinuing seven chemicals.
DMPI installed manure and black light traps as a natural method to control white grubs and installed a Grubs Alert System for more precise targeting of chemical control against grubs.
River clean-up drive by Del Monte employees in Laguna, Philippines
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 of 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 that 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.
In FY22, DMPI reduced about 90 MT of plastic packaging materials and generated savings of about US$ 400 thousand. The Company reduced rigid plastic and flexible usage by 10% and 4.4%, respectively.
Del Monte pursues packaging sustainability goals to reduce packaging carbon footprint. We implement ongoing plastic packaging reduction initiatives and have set a goal to use biodegradable PET bottles by FY2026.
Solid wastes and recyclable materials in the plantation community are segregated and sold to fund community projects.
All toll manufacturers in the Philippines practice waste segregation and management. DMPI ensures that all our toll manufacturers comply with water and smoke discharge regulations.
The DMPI office in Manila is LEED Silver-certified, a green building symbol recognized around the globe. The building system conserves water and employees practice waste segregation.
Climate change is a business risk, from altering the growing season to delaying shipments due to extreme weather and increasing costs for resilience measures. To reduce carbon emissions, we have undertaken initiatives to explore more efficient energy sources, strengthen energy conservation in worksites, and reduce process waste.
DMPI became one of the few companies in the Philippines to be certified as carbon negative for scopes 1, 2 and 3 (air travel and fuel used by vehicles) for its pineapple operations. The quantification and reporting of the GHG emissions have been independently verified by the British Standards Institution (BSI) against ISO 14064-1:2018 specifications. The verification activity has been carried out in accordance with ISO 14064-3:2019 and the principles of ISO 14065:2020.
The Company’s sequestration from its vast 26,000-hectare plantation and around 630,000 trees planted to increase the forest cover around its plantation more than offsets DMPI’s carbon emissions.
The Company has disaster recovery and business continuity plans to minimize the adverse effects of environmental incidents and initiatives to mitigate the effects of El Niño and La Niña.
Del Monte’s waste-to-energy facility 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.
The waste-to-energy facility ensures 100% wastewater treatment and serves as a shield against unstable power supply and power cost increases.
This plant complemented the job performed by an eco-effective but power-intensive aerobic treatment plant
We are committed to reduction of greenhouse gases in compliance with the Clean Air Act of the Philippines
The waste-to-energy facility produced 17% of the cannery’s power requirement in FY22
DMPI’s bottling plant and Manila office purchase their electricity from a Retail Electricity Supplier (RES) to save on costs. Part of the electricity purchased from RES came from renewable sources.
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.
The Del Monte Foundation pursued tree-growing efforts by partnering with schools and organizations in the plantation vicinity to gather tree-planting volunteers.
Our tree planting program in Mindanao, Philippines uses mostly endemic tree species sourced from nurseries sustained by local indigenous people.
We have planted around 630,000 indigenous and commercial trees, including about 23,000 planted in FY22 in different areas of Bukidnon by the Del Monte Foundation, Plantation Operations, DEARBC cooperative, Xavier Science Foundation and Local Government Units for reforestation and soil conservation.
Our new employees plant trees in Mindanao. This practice increases the employees’ awareness to take care of the environment. Training program beneficiaries also plant trees in community tree parks before their graduation.
The Foundation has a 7-hectare agroforestry project with the Indigenous People community in Mt. Kitanglad that grows coffee and bamboo for livelihood in order to protect the forest from denudation.
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.
We are mindful of the diverse flora and fauna around the plantation and ensure they are protected and cared for.
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.
Part of the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives of our toll manufacturers are the Waterbody Program and quarterly Clean-up by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The Company has a risk management plan and corporate compliance report that includes potential risks and issues raised by stakeholders concerning people, communities, the environment and the business.
We encourage our stakeholders to inform the Company of any environmental, regulatory and social issues. Issues brought to the attention of management are discussed, and mitigating actions are conveyed to the concerned stakeholder, accordingly.