Caring for Earth’s Goodness

With our deep agricultural heritage and connection to Earth’s resources, we have a long history of working in harmony with the environment. We have been a pioneer in introducing agricultural practices that minimize the use of pesticides, help farmers grow more robust crops and achieve greater yields with less fertilizer, water, and other materials. As one of the largest producers, distributors and marketers of premium branded food products for the U.S. retail market, we have the opportunity to positively influence the way food is grown on farms across the country.

Setting Us Apart

Part of what sets us apart from other food processors is our close connection to every stage of production. It all starts with our relationships with the farmers, who, as a part of their contracts with Del Monte Foods, plant and harvest our crops according to schedules we develop together. Because of this approach, we are committed to innovating the growing process. Across all the produce we grow and package, we have mapped our value chain to show the key environmental inputs and outputs in our process.

Climate change poses clear physical challenges to our business, as agricultural commodities are particularly vulnerable. Expected effects of climate change, such as increased temperatures, less reliable water supplies, and more extreme weather have the potential to significantly impact our operations and supply chain.

Still, environmental changes and their market effects may also give rise to new opportunities. For instance, extreme weather patterns may lead to an increase in the demand for shelf-stable products. To address the impacts of climate change, we work with our farmers on a variety of sustainability initiatives, which include developing drought-and pest-resilient varieties through our seed growing program. This has helped us identify hot spots or areas where we should focus our efforts to ensure a sustainable future for our business. Accordingly, we focus efforts on the following environmental areas:

  • Enhancing soil quality while reducing the use of chemicals through innovative processes like plant breeding
  • Managing water use in farms and processing/packaging to maximize efficiency and minimize pollution
  • Proactively addressing climate change and working to minimize our carbon footprint

 

Packaging Goals

For 2025, we are on the journey to achieve our latest packaging goals:

1. Transparency

What's in the package? We are committed to informing people what is in our packaging and how to recycle it. In 2019, we joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition to partner pre-competitively with other leading packaging suppliers and CPGs to work towards more sustainable packaging solutions that deliver delicious shelf stable food while ensuring it's safe to eat. We include more detailed recycling instructions on our packages using How2Recycle.

2. Certified Fiber

Where's the pulp? Currently, all of the ~12,000 tons of corrugate we use for trays, cases and displays is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). As we move closer to 2025, we'll work with our suppliers to see if we can maintain 100% certification either through FSC or Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) for corrugate and other packaging materials.

3. Recyclability

Can I recycle this? For us, we believe we can achieve the following by 2025:

  • Include more recycled content into our plastic cups. This does represent a large technical challenge when applying recycled plastic content to food contact material vs. secondary packaging, but we think we can do it with the help of our supplier.
  • Source more recyclable polypropylene that is food contact suitable.

 

You’ll find more information on our common packaging materials below:

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