Fresh produce giant is named as a 2024 Seal Business Sustainability Award winner for its efforts to promote sustainability in emerging economies

Fresh Del Monte Produce has been awarded a 2024 Seal Business Sustainability Award in the environmental initiative category for the Juntos Project, an initiative focused on landscape restoration, conservation, and sustainable development.

Del Monte wildlife sustainability

Kicking off in 2021 in partnership with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), the Juntos Project restores productive landscapes, conserves water resources in watersheds, continues to boost the economic development of communities in need, and provides education around sustainable land development for areas surrounding Fresh Del Monte’s banana and pineapple farms in Costa Rica and Guatemala.

According to Del Monte, Juntos brings local groups and other public sector groups together to align on conservation and community development and allows for local teachers and students to learn more about biodiversity and ecosystem services to integrate community development and environmental conservation efforts.

The project has successfully reforested 348ha of land, proposed over 400ha for private wildlife refuges, set aside more than 10,000ha of land for biodiversity conservation, and created five alliances to educate local communities.

Through the Juntos Project, Del Monte said it has developed a variety of programmes within the communities that focus on conservation, restoration, and reforestation that aim to engage and educate locals to support these activities in their own communities.

While the Juntos Project currently only operates in Costa Rica and Guatemala, Fresh Del Monte hopes to expand it to other green economies, providing important cultural and ecological education for the next generation of sustainable development stewards.

“We are honoured to be recognised by the Seal Awards and are committed to being a sustainable business leader by promoting conservation and restoration best practices in emerging economies,” said Hans Sauter, Fresh Del Monte chief sustainability officer.

“Through local collaborative efforts and a cross-functional, multi-stakeholder partnership, the Juntos Project has completed extensive reforestation and conservation efforts that will benefit local communities for years to come.”

Each year, the Seal Awards recognise 50 of the most sustainable and recognised companies in the world, honouring their leadership, innovation and commitment to sustainable business practices.

“Integration and impact are the watchwords of the 2024 Seal Sustainability Awards,” commented Matt Harney, chairperson and founder of Seal Awards. “This year, we saw an impressive synthesis of technology, design, and innovation combined to drive sustainable impact.”