Partnering with Vellsam Materias Bioactivas on fruit residues, Del Monte says the new plant marks an initial step in biofertiliser production

Fresh Del Monte Produce and Vellsam Materias Bioactivas, a leading producer of biotechnological solutions, have announced a partnership that will look into how to maximise the use of Fresh Del Monte’s pineapple residues by way of biofertilisers.

Generic pineapples

The Del Monte-led partnership, operating under the name De l’Ora Bio, is announcing the collaboration with the inauguration of a biofertiliser plant in Kenya, marking the initial step in the partnership’s biofertiliser production endeavour.

The new biofertiliser plant is situated close to the group’s subsidiary in the country, Del Monte Kenya Ltd, and will use residues from the company’s pineapple cannery to create different types of biofertilisers for its use and the eventual sale to other growers in Kenya and East African countries.

Biofertilisers are natural fertilisers that use microbes to help promote plant growth by increasing the supply of essential nutrients to the plants, improving the soil texture and yield of plants, and providing a more sustainable option to traditional fertilisers.

“Fresh Del Monte is committed to creating a circular economy and is taking active measures to repurpose and reuse its residues,” said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Fresh Del Monte’s chairman and CEO.

“We see this collaboration as a transformative turning point that has the potential to revolutionise how the agricultural industry farms. De l’Ora embodies our commitment to innovation, environmental stewardship, and pursuing boundaries of what is possible in agriculture.”

Del Monte cited Precedence Research estimates showing that the global biofertiliser market would expand to around US$9.14bn by 2032.

This figure is expected to grow steadily due to increasing awareness about sustainable agriculture practices, rising demand for organic food products and government initiatives promoting biofertiliser usage.

The new plant is currently running tests and will be fully operational in June.

Del Monte Kenya is the single largest exporter in the country and already employs 6,500 Kenya workers directly, and it said that, with the opening of the plant, it could further support the local economy and work towards growing its footprint and impact in the region.

”Together, through D l’Ora, the newly formed biofertiliser company, Fresh Del Monte and Almeria-based Vellsam, aim to maximise the use of residue utilisation, enhance soil fertility, and meet the rising demand from consumers seeking nutritious, sustainably grown produce,” the company stated.