Global food giant Del Monte Foods just announced plans to develop two brand new plant-based packaging methods, highlighting the companies recent commitment to introducing sustainability measures across its supply chain. Following a recent sustainability report, Del Monte revealed plans to redesign certain production methods to maximize the company’s positive impact on the environment.

The two new plant-based plastic packaging alternatives will be completely recyclable, reusable, and compostable by 2030. The initiative will introduce a plant-based production method that will potentially innovate the entire industry. Del Monte – boasting net sales of nearly $1.5 billion this year – stands as one of the world’s biggest food distributors and producers. The new standards aim to tackle food insecurity, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and ‘cultivate a healthy planet.’

“Despite the pressures brought about by the pandemic, we remained steadfast in providing foods with purpose that nourish people and the planet,” Del Monte CEO Greg Longstreet said. “This means being as thoughtful about our environmental sustainability efforts as we are about delivering nutritious, primarily plant-based foods that can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life.”

Beyond plant-based plastic, Del Monte also announced that it will develop new health-forward foods that will help increase accessibility to nutritious foods. The new plant-based options will enhance Del Monte’s extensive selection of foods in future years.

“We remain committed to achieving our 2025 goals and have implemented new transparency and efficiency efforts, improved the already-high nutrient content of our products, embedded new sustainable agriculture methods, conducted a new materiality assessment, and more,” Longstreet continued.

Within the sustainability report, the company revealed several plans that will help achieve a more environmentally friendly production system. Some goals set for 2025 include adding How2Recycle icons to all packaging, reducing energy waste in distribution, donating on average five million pounds of food each year to organizations worldwide, and fund healthy eating education in outreach initiatives.

The company’s recent dedication to sustainability and plant-based packaging alternatives marks a significant shift within the US and global food market. More major companies have adopted plant-based methods and policies as environmental concerns begin to lean onto the agricultural industry. Del Monte’s move sets a precedent for the production side of major food companies that extends from the food itself.

"As we look to the future, setting and achieving ambitious sustainability targets is more important than ever, "Del Monte Foods' Senior Manager of Environmental and Social Governance Molly Laverty said. "From adopting sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices to working with our communities to provide equitable access to nutrition, to innovating around non-plastic and recyclable packaging, we remain focused on growing good for our planet, our communities, and all those who depend on us for healthy, nourishing foods."

A recent report from The Economist Intelligence Unit commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found a 71 percent rise in online searches for sustainable goods spanning over the last five years. The report shows that consumers worldwide have started prioritizing sustainable foods, packaging, and production from companies across every industry. The report detailed that consumers worldwide expected businesses to adopt eco-friendly and sustainable policies.

“The science and the economics are clear. The public sentiment is now clear,” Director General for WWF Internation Marco Lambertini said. “And - the solutions are clear too. Society is supporting a transformation of our economic and development model towards one that finally values nature as our moral duty to all life on Earth, and for the crucial services, it provides to our economy, well-being, health, and security. This is a truly history ‘eco-wakening’ and the chance to rebalance our relationship with the planet.”