Preserving Nature

 

 

Our business depends on responsible stewardship of                                                  nature, the source of our produce that will sustain                                                      our future. 

 
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Pineapple field in Bukidnon, Philippines

DMPI’s close to a century of growing and manufacturing attest to how it has sustained the environment and its own operations.

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

Across over 95 years of operations, the Company’s 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.

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2-3Pineapple 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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Soil management

  1. 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. The Company does 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.

  2. The Company’s plantation is GlobalGAP certified. It also has a Philippine Good Agricultural Practices certificate issued by the Department of Agriculture. The plantation and fresh packing facilities for fresh fruits have been certified ISO 9001:2015 by SGS United Kingdom Ltd. Systems and Services.

  3. GlobalGAP honored DMPI with the Good Agricultural Practices Award (2018) for demonstrating high standards and excellent implementation of GlobalGAP principles on its farms.

  4. Soil Conservation: The Company’s goal is to maintain land productivity, mitigate topsoil loss, prevent soil erosion, and reduce the loss of soil nutrients. To achieve this goal, the Company aims to reduce soil erosion to 10 metric tons per hectare per year by the fiscal year 2026 from the current 12 to 14 tons per hectare per year; to implement the Big Planting Materials program, through which the Company expects to phase out the use of extra small seeds, plant big and regular planting materials, and target big planting materials to comprise 50% of total plantings by the fiscal year 2026 from the current 29%; and to undertake composting trials.

  5. The Company’s Drone Program allows it to monitor the condition of the 26,000-hectare pineapple field in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. 

 

 
 
 
Nature 3-1
 

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

  2. In the year ended April 30, 2021, the Water Usage Ratio (“WUR”) of the Cabuyao PET Plant (measured as liters of water used per liter of product manufactured), was 9.72. This is within the Company’s five-year goal.
 
 
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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 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.

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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.

  1. The Company’s Drone Program allows it to monitor the condition of the 26,000-hectare pineapple field in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. 

  2. Rainforest Alliance Certification: The Company’s goal is to make its products and supply chain sustainable, promote human rights, preserve the environment, and mitigate climate change. In connection with this goal, the Company has begun discontinuing six chemicals and is developing an Integrated Pesticide Management Program. The Company also completed an orientation with the Rainforest Alliance representative in February 2021 to go through the overview of the Rainforest Alliance standard version 2020 that takes effect in June 2021 and is preparing to achieve the Rainforest Alliance certification by the year ended April 30, 2023. 
 
 
Nature 1-1

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 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.

coastal

Coastal Clean-up of Macajalar Bay, Philippines

  1. In the last ten years, the Company has reduced approximately 3,000 metric tons of packaging materials and generated savings of about USD 2.7 million. The company reduced its plastic usage by 21% and flexible packaging by 16.5% in the last ten years through downgauging. 

  2. The DMPI 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.

  3. The DMPI 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.
  4. Reduction of Plastic Packaging: The Company’s goal is to pursue packaging sustainability goals and reduce its packaging carbon footprint. The Company has plastic packaging reduction initiatives in progress, which are projected to result in a total saving of approximately PhP265 million or the US$5.5 million by the FY2026, with expected cost savings of approximately PhP38 million expected in FY2026 alone. The Company is also targeting to substitute 100% of its plastic packaging with biodegradable plastic packaging by the FY2022.
 
 
 
 
Nature 4-1

The generator sets for the waste-to-energy facility in the Philippines

 

Climate Change Adaptation and Energy Efficiency

We face opportunities and risks associated with climate change. The predicted impacts 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 26,000-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. Fewer 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. DMPI believes it has a negative carbon footprint given its vast 26,000-hectare plantation and more than half a million trees it has planted and added to the forest cover around its plantation. DMPI’s carbon footprint had net sequestration of 490,382 metric tons of CO2 in the year ended December 31, 2020. Accordingly, the Company believes it is carbon negative based on the Inter Panel Climate Change (“IPCC”) guidelines.

  2. The Company’s plantation is GlobalGAP certified. It also has a Philippine Good Agricultural Practices certificate issued by the Department of Agriculture. The plantation and fresh packing facilities for fresh fruits have been certified ISO 9001:2015 by SGS United Kingdom Ltd. Systems and Services.

  3. GlobalGAP honored DMPI with the Good Agricultural Practices Award (2018) for demonstrating high standards and excellent implementation of GlobalGAP principles on its farms.

  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. The Company does 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.

  5. Renewable Energy – Solar Power: The Company’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate climate change and diversify its energy supply through the use of renewable energy, including solar power. The Company has projected savings of approximately PhP 356 million (based on a fixed lease rate of ?3.75 kilowatts per hour) across three of its sites (the Bugo Processing and Production Facility, the plantation, and the Cabuyao PET Plant). The Company targets to complete this 2.0 MW solar energy project for the Bugo Processing and Production Facility and to install 1.5 MW of solar power in the plantation and the Cabuyao PET Plant in the fiscal year 2023. At completion, approximately 60% of the energy capacity of the Bugo Processing and Production Facility will be renewable energy including the current 2.8MW waste-to-energy.  In addition, the Company will install 1.5MW solar power in the plantation and Cabuyao plant by FY2023 thereby increasing the total renewable energy to 6.3MW.

  6. The Company has a waste-to-energy facility that has a capacity of 2.8 MW of renewable energy from the wastewater of its Bugo Processing and Production Facility into renewable energy, ensuring 100% wastewater treatment and serving as a shield against unstable power supply. The facility generates electricity and cleanses water discharged to the coastal waters of Macajalar Bay, which has Biochemical Oxygen Demand levels below the government-mandated levels of 100 mg/liter. In the year ended April 30, 2021, renewable energy contributed to 17% of the Bugo Processing and Production Facility’s power requirement.

  7. DMPI is a recipient of the “Don Emilio Abello Outstanding Award” for Energy Efficiency.
 
 
 
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Tree planting activities by Del Monte employees

 

 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. The DMPI 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.

  2. To date, the Company has planted around 610,000 indigenous and commercial trees in different areas of the plantation in Bukidnon through the Labor Management Councils of DMPI, the Foundation, and its cooperative partner DEARBC. 

  3. Employees of the Bugo Processing and Production Facility conducted their annual coastal clean-up of the shoreline of Macajalar Bay in Bantiles, Bugo, Cagayan de Oro City.

  4. Various flora and fauna are found around the plantation such as Hedychium Philippines or the Philippine Camia (“Camia”), Amaurornis Phoenicurus, White-breasted waterhen (“Tikling”), Xanthostemon verdugonianus, Philippine Iron Wood (“Magkono”), and Spilornis holospilus, Serpent Eagle (“Banog”).
 
 
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