Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. announced the launch of Del Monte Zero: the first pineapple certified as carbon neutral.Del Monte has been operating in the country for over 100 years and is one of the largest producers of pineapples in the world. It has several pineapple plantations located in different parts of the country, and it also has a processing plant that produces pineapple juice, canned pineapple, and other pineapple-based products.
Del Monte Zero
Del Monte Zero is verified as a sustainably grown fruit by third-party SCS Global Services, a world leader in verification, auditing, testing, and standards development, which also assessed the forests near Fresh Del Monte’s eight pineapple farms in Costa Rica.
“After an exhaustive analysis of the pineapple production that Fresh Del Monte develops in the country, SCS Global Services determined that the greenhouse gas emissions of Del Monte Zero pineapples have been offset by the reabsorption of the forests that the company has and preserves in the national territory, which makes the carbon footprint of this product zero,” explained Michael Calderon, spokesperson for Fresh Del Monte.
He added that this innovation would be available to North American and European consumers in early 2023.
This was possible thanks to the implementation of a long-standing program involving carefully selected monitoring plots, which incorporate areas of forest under conservation to capture CO2. The efforts also included continuously tracking and quantifying greenhouse gas emissions in each of the related productive operations, such as packaging, transportation, and marketing.
The development of this nature-based solution, also known as insertion, is part of the company’s commitment to combat climate change. Investments in upgrading its transportation fleet also enabled the company to reach this important milestone.
“The company’s more than 8,000 hectares of forest in the country, containing approximately five million trees, neutralize the emissions produced by Del Monte Pineapple Zer from field to table. A trained group of members of Fresh Del Monte monitors and measures these forests once a year to ensure that the amount of pineapple boxes certified as carbon neutral is equivalent to the carbon dioxide sequestered through these conservation activities,” Calderón explained.
With this initiative, Del Monte Zero™ pineapples are expected to generate awareness among its current customers and partners and provide consumers with a unique opportunity to support more environmentally friendly products.
In 2021, Fresh Del Monte implemented a returnable plastic box (RPC) program to replace single use corrugated boxes in its pineapple shipments to North America. That year alone, 479,247 RPCs were used in exports from Costa Rica.
“We are always analyzing our supply chain to identify areas to reduce packaging waste, improve circularity and develop beneficial partnerships. In 2021, we joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition to position ourselves, learn and share best practices within our industry, together with suppliers who share the common goal of improving packaging practices,” Calderon said.
What is Carbon Neutral?
Carbon neutral is the state of having a net zero carbon footprint, meaning that an individual, organization, (Del Monte in this case), or country has balanced the amount of carbon emissions produced by human activities, with an equivalent amount removed from the atmosphere or offset through carbon credits.