World's largest producer of fruits and vegetables wants to achieve zero food waste by 2025. The company generates huge amounts of waste from the parts of the fruit it doesn’t use. In the next five years, it’s hoping to find new ways to repurpose it all.
Dole Food Company Inc. is an American agricultural multinational corporation headquartered in California. The company is the largest producer of fruit and vegetables in the world, such as bananas (the world’s most popular fruit), pineapples, grapes, strawberries, salads, and other fresh and frozen fruits and juices.
The company announced several new sustainability goals this week including a plan to eliminate fossil-based plastic packaging by 2025 and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. To achieve these goals, they have introduced several new green strategies.
To reduce plastic waste, the company is exploring ways to turn pineapple skins, cores, and banana leaves into packaging. Unfortunately, food waste itself is also damaging to the environment. To address this, the company is developing new snacks from imperfect produce that grocery stores don’t want and making use of biogas facilities to turn excess waste into energy for its production centers. Using these methods, Dole plans to achieve zero fruit loss by 2025.
Within the supply chain, the company is implementing electric delivery trucks and reducing standard regulations which prevent perfectly good food from being sold due to cosmetic flaws.
“If food waste were a country, it would come in third after the United States and China in terms of impact on global warming,” Dole president Pier Luigi Sigismondi told FastCompany. “This is absolutely important, as it is connected and interdependent in many ways. When we waste fruit or food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. And if it goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane - a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.”
The good news is, of course, that many other major businesses are addressing similar issues, all acutely aware that their customers now understand the importance of radical reductions in carbon foot prints and waste.