Leading avocado producer and distributor, Mission Produce, has released its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report.
Titled ‘Finest for the Future’, the report highlights the company’s accomplishments in sustainable farming and details the status and scope of its goals across Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I), climate risk, waste reduction and community investment.
“Mission Produce’s first ESG report illustrates our dedication to the finest practices for our people, product and planet,” said Mission Produce chief executive and founder, Steve Barnard.
“We embody sustainable practices from field to fork and our advanced farming practices allow us to keep our water usage per avocado well below the industry average. Our people are passionate and have an innovative spirit, constantly driving our operations to reduce our environmental footprint and contribute positively to our global community.”
With a focus on investing in people, reducing water and waste, and minimising carbon emissions, key highlights of the report include the implementation of reduced plastic bags in at least 50 per cent of the bags packed and shipped globally by fiscal year 2025, equating to almost 500,000 0.5-litre plastic bottles.
Mission’s precision and biodiverse farming methods, which use 40.5 per cent less water in the company’s Peruvian production, and 40 per cent less water in its California operation, was also highlighted.
By the end of 2021, Mission is aiming to apply shelf-life extension technology to 10,200 tonnes of avocados to combat food waste and reduce shrink of avocados, the equivalent of powering almost 563 homes, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) calculator.
Mission’s global workforce comprises nearly 50 per cent women, almost 20 per cent of whom were promoted in 2020.
Additionally, Mission will sponsor the produce industry’s first-ever DE&I initiative in 2021, run by the Centre for Growing Talent (CGT) of the Produce Marketing Association.
“Creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture is essential to attracting, developing and retaining the talent that makes our industry thrive,” said CGT’s executive director, Doug Bohr.
“With the Diversity and Inclusion Programme Series, we’re helping the industry build a base of knowledge and resources to advance DE&I practices benefitting everyone, their businesses and our industry. We’re thrilled to have the support of industry sponsors, like Mission Produce, in this work.”
“As we look to the future, we recognise the need to further understand and integrate DE&I practices within our organisation and industry. People are our greatest asset, so we must do our part to value, protect, and foster that asset,” added Barnard.