basket of food waste
Gary Perkin | stock.adobe.com

Fresh Del Monte joins fight to reduce food waste on West Coast

Fresh Del Monte has joined the Pacific West Coast Food Waste Commitment which has set a goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030.

September 15, 2022

The Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment (PCFWC) has announced that Fresh Del Monte––a leading producer, marketer and distributor of fresh and fresh cut fruits and vegetables—is the first grower to sign on to PCFWC’s goal of reducing and preventing food waste by 50 percent along the West Coast of the United States by 2030 as a climate change solution.

The partnership builds on Fresh Del Monte’s long-standing efforts to reduce food loss and waste throughout its operations while continuing its work in sustainability. In 2021, Fresh Del Monte diverted 95 percent of its food waste from landfill and reduced the total amount of its food waste produced by 13 percent from the previous year.

“Sustainability is woven into the fabric of everything we do at Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., and mitigating food waste has always been an important part of that,” says Hans Sauter, senior vice president of research and development and chief sustainability officer at Fresh Del Monte. “We’re thrilled to join the PCFWC and to work collaboratively with other signatories across the Pacific Coast.”

The PCFWC is a major public-private partnership dedicated to food waste reduction, bringing together food businesses and local jurisdictions on the West Coast to reduce food waste in accordance with national and international sustainability targets. Fresh Del Monte’s participation will enhance the efforts of the PCFWC through their work to reduce food waste throughout their own operations and through their influence on suppliers and other partners throughout the value chain.

Food waste is a key driver of the climate crisis and is responsible for 4 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.—the same amount generated by 21 percent of cars on the road. This announcement will pave the way for collaboration among other food brands on the West Coast and sends a strong signal to the industry that, when businesses work together through the sharing of data and best practices in a pre-competitive format, food-waste reduction comes more easily.

Over the years, Fresh Del Monte’s work in promoting soil health, carbon sequestration, water conservation and biodiversity has earned it top accolades, including a SEAL (Sustainability, Environmental, Achievement and Leadership) award in 2021. The company has also committed to donating 2.5 million trees by 2025.

“As the first grower to join the PCFWC, Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. is helping to expand the PCFWC’s work to additional segments of the food supply chain,” Senior Director of Food Loss and Waste at the Switzerland-based World Wildlife Fund (WWF)Pete Pearson says. “Wasted food is a systemwide problem requiring cross-functional collaboration, and the participation of an internationally recognized produce company underscores the importance of getting commitment from all food system sectors to reach food waste reduction goals.”

The collaborative includes the states of Washington, Oregon and California; British Columbia; and the cities of Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Oakland, California, San Franciso, Los Angeles; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Also included are the nonprofits partner ReFED,New York City, The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Morges, Switzerland, and WRAP, which is based in the United Kingdom, as well as about a dozen businesses.