Molly Laverty, Senior Manager of Environmental, Social, and Governance at Del Monte Foods Inc., joins us to discuss the company’s climate response goals, which include using 25% recycled plastics in packaging. Del Monte Foods is one of the largest food packaging companies in the U.S. and is working to become a sustainable provider of fruits and vegetables through investments in regenerative farming. We talk about the recently released Del Monte sustainability report and its plan for environmental progress, and how the food supply chain may change in coming years. Del Monte’s CropTrak system, for example, could provide consumers end-to-end transparency to see into the source and distribution of their food. On the plastics front, only 4% of Del Monte’s total packaging by weight remains plastic-based — the rest is made of paper, metal, and glass. By 2030, Del Monte aims to make 100% of its plastic packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable.
Del Monte is also entering regenerative farming, introducing the use of cover crops to prevent erosion and restore nitrogen and other nutrients in the soil between food crops. The company is also working to breed non-GMO seeds that are drought resistant and reduce the need for pesticides. The company banned the use of pesticides on their partner farms when pollinators are present to improve biodiversity in the soil and farmland. Del Monte also made progress on other ESG issues, including diversity in the senior executive ranks, surpassing the 50% level for participation by women and people of color in 2021. You can learn more at delmontefoods.com.
UPDATE: Del Monte Foods announced its net-zero goals on April 6, 2022. The company will reduce and ultimately eliminate greenhouse gas emissions to reach its zero goals by 2050 instead of using carbon offsets (buying carbon credits that allow it to continue emitting). It will utilize renewable energy, regenerative farming pracrtices, automation and improved packaging to become more efficient, following the Science Based Targets Initiative’s Net-Zero Standard.
UPDATE, too: Del Monte Gut Love and Boost Me Fruit Infusion products received Upcycled certification from the Upcycled Food Association. The products are made from pineapple juice that was previously discarded. By reducing food waste, the company is able to lower its greenhouse gas emissions overall.