Del Monte +Diced Tomatoes

overall rating:

1.25

planets

Noel Abrai
7/29/2022
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Del Monte is a great brand that I trust way back. The texture and flavor of its products are always on point and fresh. It is a good alternative for those who do not have time to buy fresh tomatoes. Looking at its ingredients, I have realized that diced tomatoes have 3 grams of added sugar. For me, this has just ruined a can of this vegetable product because the sweet aftertaste overshadowed all other flavors of this product. This has always made me check canned food labels before purchasing. So, when I realized that this product has a certain huge amount of added sugar, I decided to look at the sustainable achievement that Del Monte as a company has accomplished. 

I found that Del Monte has been shifting towards sustainability when it comes to the ingredients of its non-GMO sourcing, package recyclability, and sustainable farming. Del Monte has put efforts into a carbon emissions reduction target of 27.5% by the year 2030 from its operations such as upstream transportation and distribution, purchased goods and services, waste generated in operations, and employee commuting to meet the science-based target initiatives' (SBTI’s) criteria for ambitious value chain goals. This shows that Del Monte is in line with current best practices. However, I recommend Del Monte be more transparent in its sustainable goals, and how it will achieve them by 2030

What it's made of:

1.25

The systems that have been put in Del Monte’s facilities have ensured the long-term viability of the natural resources used for the production of its products and protected the environment within which it operates. I continued to research the labeling of these diced tomatoes. I came to realize that Del Monte does label this product as non-GMO without any substitution and addition of preservatives. But, there is no information that proves Del Monte has a non-GMO certification by the non-GMO certification project. So, this made me think that Del Monte was not sufficiently transparent about the products it produces.

Del Monte has been working with other family farm growers in California. In 2021, Del Monte worked with more than 500 family farms to deliver more than 517,000 tons of vegetables across the USA. The family farmers are Wysocki produce farm, Mortenson brothers farm, Okray family farms, Tiffany and Sons farms, Worzella and Sons farm, and many others. 95% of the vegetables grown on these farms travel less than 75 miles to canning facilities, meaning that all vegetables are picked and packed within hours.

Since Del Monte vegetables travel less than 75 miles to its facilities, I would like to advise Del Monte to partner with Remora to capture the emissions that the Del Monte truck emitted. Remora is the first mobile carbon capture company in the USA that manufactures devices that act like a giant filter using carbon scrubbing technology to strip greenhouse gases from the tailpipe of a truck. This is how the device works; the dirty exhaust flows into the device, clean air comes out, then the carbon dioxide is automatically compressed and stored in an onboard tank. This device uses the truck’s exhaust heat to refresh the filter, so it is highly energy efficient, and it has a very low impact on engine performance. If the tank fills up before the truck driver gets a chance to offload the carbon dioxide, the device automatically bypasses it so the truck can keep rolling as normal. I would recommend Del Monte reveal the farming practices that its growers are practicing on their family farms.

 

How it's made:

1

Diced tomatoes consist of tomatoes, tomato juice, sea salt, citric acid and calcium chloride in it can size NET WT 14.5 OZ (419g). Del Monte is producing its tomatoes through its greenhouse projects in San Joaquin Valley, California. These tomatoes ripen less than 50 miles from Del Monte’s plant, where it uses a portion of solar energy in production. What I like about Del Monte is that its greenhouses are state-of-the-art facilities with sophisticated food safety and pest control systems that go beyond the standard of the USDA protocol and regulations. 

Del Monte greenhouses have been constructed based on 45 x144-meter houses designed with fully automated butterfly window vents that help keep pests out, and automatic irrigation, and fertilization systems. Water filters and high-tech fogger systems help provide an ideal growing environment. I would like to see Del Monte be clear and transparent in how their tomatoes are grown regarding their sustainable farming practices in California. Del Monte greenhouses are so impressive. They have been designed with internal drainage systems to help protect the surrounding rivers and water reservoirs and prevent greenhouse run-off, which I do believe are the best practices in sustainable environmental management. 

The tomatoes are normally transported by trucks to the preparation facilities, hand-picked and put in a large pot of water to boil, then moved to a cutter. The cutter cuts the tomatoes in the bottom of each tomato and drops them in the boiling water again for a few minutes. 

Then tomatoes are lifted out of the water and placed in the bowels of ice water so they can cool quickly. Once cool, the tomatoes are peeled. The outer skin will slip off easily, then discard the skins. Cut out the stem part of the tomato and dice the tomatoes. Place the diced tomatoes and tomato juices into a large pot and boil it again for 5 minutes to release the juices. The cans are lined up, then citric acid, calcium chloride, and sea salt are added to each can. Then the diced tomatoes and tomato juices are packed in the cans, leaving a few inches from the top. 

Finally, the cans are placed in boiling water to process for 35 minutes, then later moved to warehouses or transported to groceries across the USA. In regards to the packaging of diced tomatoes, Del Monte has an appropriate goal of implementing sustainability practices through the sustainable packaging coalition, which gives a step-by-step on how to recycle the package. Del Monte cans are recyclable and can be repurposed, and I salute them for that. As Del Monte stated clearly in its sustainability report that it transported its tomatoes less than 95 miles to canning facilities, this meant that Del Monte is trying to shift its efforts toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As a food sustainability analyst, Del Monte did not mention the miles it transports its products from the preparation facilities to the retailers. I would like to see Del Monte come up with the number of miles it transported its products to the groceries in the USA to help us be able to count and capture the amount of Co2 emissions emitted. I would like to see Del Monte clarify in its sustainability report its water footprint and plans to move toward renewable energy.

Who makes it:

1.25

Del Monte is a USDA-certified American food production and distribution company headquartered in Walnut Creek, California. Del Monte is one of the largest producers, distributors, and marketers of branded processed food for the U.S. retail market and is not affiliated with certain other Del Monte companies around the world, including Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., Del Monte Canada, or Del Monte Asia Pte. Ltd. 

Del Monte generated approximately $1.8 billion in annual sales. Del Monte is the oldest company with its current CEO Greg Longstreet. Del Monte employed around 41,500 employees as of 2022. I was impressed by Del Monte's vision and values, which is to shape the future by the choices we make. No matter how big or small, Del Monte believes in nurturing the Earth’s goodness to grow a healthier today and a more hopeful tomorrow. Del Monte has a great mission to not leave the community behind. It participated in corporate donation programs by giving back to vulnerable families in need of assistance. Del Monte introduced several giving back programs to families in need, a program such as a disaster relief, youth initiatives, family care, environmental stewardship, and education. 

Sincerely, it is a good community relationship that Del Monte demonstrated, and I would applaud them for that. On the Del Monte website, there is a News section that gives updated information to consumers and retailers about the latest developments occurring in and around Del Monte. As of 2022, Del Monte donated 8,000,000 pounds of different types of food products along with $760,000 USD cash to local communities. Again, way back in 2017, when a hurricane damaged families in Texas, and Florida, Del Monte helped families who were seriously impacted by the hurricane. 

Del Monte introduced the California transparency in the supply chain act of 2010 (S.B 657). This act provides the public with information about Del Monte’s efforts to address the global issues of human trafficking and slavery. This act has made me believe that Del Monte is opposed to human trafficking and forced labor at any level. Concerning Del Monte’s act 2010 (S.B 657), I would recommend Del Monte make transparent the steps it takes/has taken to ensure that forced labor and human trafficking do not happen in its supply chain to help us monitor the activity. 

Del Monte has great sustainability reports which make Del Monte Steadfast in providing foods with a purpose that nourishes people and the planet. This resonated with me that Del Monte is being as thoughtful about environmental sustainability efforts by delivering nutritious, primarily plant-based foods that can be easily enjoyed by people from different walks of life. Del Monte remained committed to achieving its 2030 goals by implementing new transparency and efficiency efforts to improve the already high nutrient content of its products. Del Monte has achieved a well-in water use reduction by concentrating and decreasing the amount of water used in its operations. 

Del Monte has reduced water usage by nearly 750 million gallons a year since 2013. While Del Monte responds to climate-related risks such as changing precipitation patterns, rising temperatures, and more erratic growing seasons, it is still continually assessing how it can reduce its impact on local watersheds and prepare for current and future droughts in the areas where it sources crops from. What I would recommend Del Monte to put into consideration is that, let Del Monte embed new sustainable agriculture methods, and conduct a new materiality assessment in its supply chain production units. If Del Monte does this, I will add more planets for it.