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Dole: 80% of ugly fruit in Thailand upcycled to combat food waste

Fruit and vegetable producer Dole has stated it has managed to prevent 80% of “ugly” fruit from going to waste from its Thailand farms. It has done so by upcycling the less-than-pretty produce, and repurposing it into new products. The corporation now wants to get this figure up to 100%, eliminating fruit loss entirely by 2025.

Dole Sunshine wants to do away with waste on its Thailand farms. It has found new ways to repurpose fruit, from turning banana leaves into packaging to developing snacks made from unaesthetic veggies. Or even turning half-rotten misshapen produce into electricity by processing it in biogas facilities.

In the Philippines, the company recently began turning its pineapple leaves to new fibres to make the vegan leather Piñatex, partnering with the startup Ananas Anam for the initiative.

Food waste is one of the largest contributors to global heating, driving as much as 10% of global GHG emissions. Every year, the world throws out 931 million tons of food, according to the UN’s latest report.

At the time of announcing its initial plan back in 2020, president of Dole, Pier Luigi Sigismondi, said: “If food waste were a country, it would come in third after the United States and China in terms of its impact on global warming.”


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