Del Monte promotes social and environmental values for its Central American value chain

Fresh Del Monte Produce - one of the world's leading producers, marketers and distributors of quality fresh and processed fruits and vegetables - continues to take consistent steps to create more sustainable farming opportunities.

To date, Fresh Del Monte Produce has created more than 18,000 jobs in Central America. In a recently signed three-year agreement, Del Monte Fresh Produce and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) have partnered with
government agencies, communities, and affiliates to improve the use of natural resources and ensure the sustainability and resilience of agricultural landscapes in Costa Rica and Guatemala.

The collaboration involves three successive phases. The first phase builds partnerships with public and private stakeholders to facilitate alliances for landscape restoration and lay the groundwork for watershed management. The second phase focuses on communities that were socially and economically impacted by Covid-19 and helps them reforest landscapes - at once a natural solution to mitigate the effects of climate change.

"Our goal is to expand our sustainable agriculture programs beyond our farms to create resilient and multifunctional landscapes across our
entire watersheds," said Hans Sauter, Chief Sustainability Officer and SVP of Research & Development at Fresh Del Monte. "We see this partnership as a great opportunity to enhance the ability of the communities where we live and work, to create a better and more sustainable environment for future generations. With the support of GIZ, we will take our knowledge and the relevant techniques from Costa Rica to Guatemala, and we will be able to continue our mission."

The third phase focuses on knowledge transfer and education on sustainable development, including biodiversity, water management, community, as well as landscape in the adjacent communities of Fresh Del Monte's banana and pineapple farms in Costa Rica and Guatemala. With an average annual consumption of twelve kilos per capita in Germany, bananas are at the top of the popularity scale for tropical fruits - making biodiversity and effective ecosystem protection in their cultivation process a key concern for companies involved in the value chain and for consumers looking to choose sustainable alternatives.

Photo: Fresh Del Monte

"To ensure the sustainability and resilience of landscapes in the face of climate change, it is necessary to support all stakeholders and secure financial resources to promote ecosystem protection," says 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 among different stakeholders - who influence and depend on biodiversity - about the appropriate sustainable development of watersheds and their ecosystem services."

For more than 30 years, Fresh Del Monte's commitment to sustainable development and biodiversity conservation has played an important role in Costa Rica - both in protecting forests and supporting local communities in their efforts to restore landscapes and promote social and economic development. Currently, 25 percent (more than 10,000 hectares) of Fresh Del Monte's agricultural land is reserved for conservation, benefiting more than 200 Fresh Del Monte partners.

The development partnership with Fresh Del Monte is funded under the program, which is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support cooperation between the private sector and development organizations. GIZ plays an important role by helping to broker relationships with government agencies and also providing
providing technical expertise in implementing activities related to biodiversity, conservation and sustainability.

For more information:
Fresh Del Monte
Weinbergsweg 20
10119 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 44047800

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Dag-Hammarskjöld-Weg 1 - 5
65760 Eschborn
Tel +49 6196 79-0
Fax +49 6196 79-11 15

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