KENYA – Fresh Del Monte, a leading global producer of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, has announced a partnership with Vellsam Materias Bioactivas to produce biofertilizers from pineapple residues.

This initiative, under the banner of De l’Ora Bio, began with the inauguration of a biofertilizer plant in Kenya, near Fresh Del Monte’s subsidiary, Del Monte Kenya Ltd.

This facility will utilize residues from the company’s pineapple cannery to produce various biofertilizers. These will be used by Fresh Del Monte and sold to other growers in Kenya and East African countries.

Biofertilizers use microbes to enhance plant growth by increasing the availability of essential nutrients and improving soil texture.

This sustainable alternative to traditional fertilizers is expected to have a positive impact on both agriculture and the environment.

“Fresh Del Monte is committed to creating a circular economy and is taking active measures to repurpose and reuse its residues,” said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Fresh Del Monte’s Chairman and CEO.

“We see this collaboration as a transformative turning point that has the potential to change how the agricultural industry farms. De l’Ora embodies our commitment to innovation, environmental stewardship, and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in agriculture.”

The global biofertilizers market is projected to expand to around USD 9.14 billion by 2032, according to Precedence Research.

This growth is driven by increasing awareness of sustainable agriculture practices, a rising demand for organic food products, and government initiatives promoting biofertilizer usage.

The new plant is currently undergoing tests and will be fully operational in June. Del Monte Kenya, the country’s largest exporter, employs 6,500 workers directly. The new biofertilizer plant will further support the local economy and enhance Del Monte’s regional impact.

Through De l’Ora, Fresh Del Monte and Vellsam aim to maximize residue utilization, improve soil fertility, and meet the growing demand for nutritious, sustainably grown produce.

Turning pineapple waste into sustainable textiles for global fashion

Pineapple farmer James Kinuthia highlighted the shift in perspective, stating, “In the past, we would burn or throw away or replant pineapple suckers.”

However, the scenario changed when the company Pine Kazi entered the scene. Kinuthia explained, “We sell one sucker to them at 15 Kenya shillings each (USD 0.092).”

This innovative approach not only adds an extra revenue stream for farmers like Kinuthia but also generates employment opportunities.

Workers are involved in sorting the leaves and extracting fibers, which are then processed—dried, spun, and woven—to create sustainable textiles.

Olivia Awuor, CEO, and co-founder of Pine Kazi highlighted the environmental impact of their initiative. “Annually about 766 million tons of post-harvest pineapple leaves are usually produced, and they are burnt or chemically decomposed. So, by collecting this waste, for every 1,000 tons of waste we collect, we reduce carbon and methane emissions by 0.28 metric tons.”

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