Del Monte truck

Fresh Del Monte Produce has joined with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to develop a three-year project to maximise the use of natural resources and to ensure the sustainability of landscapes in Costa Rica and Guatemala.

The multi-stakeholder partnership will see Del Monte and BMZ team with local organisations, government agencies, communities and subsidiaries to restore productive landscapes and boost the economic development of communities that have been impacted by Covid-19.

It will also look to conserve water resources in watersheds and provide education for the sustainable development in neighbouring lands surrounding Fresh Del Monte’s banana and pineapple farms in Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Currently 25 per cent (over 10,000 hectares) of Fresh Del Monte’s farmland has been set aside for conservation efforts benefiting more than 200 Fresh Del Monte collaborators.

“Our goal is to elevate our sustainable agriculture programmes beyond just our operations to create resilient and multifunctional landscapes throughout our entire watersheds,” said Hans Sauter, chief sustainability officer and senior vice-president of research and development at Fresh Del Monte.

“We view this partnership as a powerful opportunity to enhance the capacity of the communities we live and work in, to build a better, more sustainable environment for future generations,' he explained. 'With GIZ’s (German Development Cooperation) help we’re taking our techniques and learnings from Costa Rica to Guatemala to continue our mission.”

Del Monte’s said it had committed to Costa Rica’s sustainable development and biodiversity conservation for more than 30 years, and said it had 'played an important role' in protecting the forests and supporting local communities in their efforts to restore landscapes and promote social and economic development.

“To ensure the sustainability and resilience of the landscapes in the face of climate change, it is necessary to empower stakeholders and secure financial resources to promote the conservation of ecosystems,” said Svenja Paulino, director of the Biodiversity and Business Program in Central America and the Dominican Republic. “For this reason, it is also important to create awareness in different players – who impact and depend on biodiversity – about the appropriate sustainable development of watersheds and their ecosystem services.'

The development partnership with Fresh Del Monte is part of the programme that German Development Cooperation (GIZ) implements on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), to support cooperation between the private sector and developmental organisations.