Group to sell fruit under Del Monte Zero brand after success of carbon sequestration project in Costa Rica

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Image: Business Wire

Fresh Del Monte Produce has announced the launch of the Del Monte Zero pineapple. Billed as its first carbon neutral-certified fruit, its business model factors in the entire supply chain from farm to table in North American and selected European markets.

The company said that using a limited percentage of the company’s total pineapple volumes, the Del Monte Zero pineapple was a new product line extension from the Del Monte Gold, HoneyGlow, and Del Monte The Original pineapple varieties, grown in Costa Rica and certified as sustainably grown by third-party certification body SCS Global Services.

After a comprehensive assessment of Fresh Del Monte’s Costa Rica pineapple production through shipment and sale to the North American and European markets, SCS Global Services determined that the Del Monte Zero pineapples’ greenhouse gas emissions have been negated by the reabsorption of Fresh Del Monte-owned forests, making those pineapples’ carbon footprint net zero.

Del Monte noted that the limited-availability, carbon neutral-certified Del Monte Zero Pineapple, which will be available to North American and select European consumers in early 2023, was accomplished through a long-standing programme of curated farms that incorporated conservation and reforestation areas to sequester CO2 in situ.

Creating this nature-based solution, also known as insetting, is part of a larger commitment the company has made to combating climate change.

In addition, investments in upgrading its transportation fleet and reducing greenhouse gas emissions have enabled Fresh Del Monte to achieve what it has called a “significant milestone”.

The company’s 8,000-plus hectare forest containing approximately 5m trees neutralises emissions – from farm to table – produced by the Del Monte Zero pineapple.

A trained group of Fresh Del Monte team members tracks and measures the company’s forests biannually to ensure the amount of certified carbon-neutral pineapple boxes equates to the carbon dioxide sequestered through such conservation activities.

“Going beyond the farm to include emissions from inland and oceanic transportation, distribution, and commercialisation is a major step in helping the environment,” said Hans Sauter, chief sustainability office, senior vice-president, R&D and agricultural services.

“We hope that the Del Monte Zero pineapples not only generate awareness among our customers, current and future partners but also provide consumers with a unique opportunity to support climate-conscious produce.”

SCS certification was achieved by all eight of Fresh Del Monte’s Costa Rican pineapple farms that export to either Europe or North America. The Del Monte Zero pineapple will be labeled as carbon neutral certified by SCS.

“Fresh Del Monte Zero pineapples set an important new benchmark for the global fresh produce industry,” said Stan Rhodes, president and CEO, SCS Global Services.

“They have not only demonstrated adherence to extremely rigorous principles of social responsibility, environmental, and governance performance but have also focused on increasing carbon storage on the lands they own and manage, while simultaneously minimising their GHG emissions, to achieve carbon neutral certification,” he said. ”In doing so, they are confronting the climate crisis head-on.”

Del Monte said it hoped to be able to expand its carbon neutral practices to other fruits and partner with more customers to join in on the effort to bring more certified sustainably-grown products to the world and to build a Brighter World Tomorrow.