Fresh Del Monte expands into row crops as it finds innovative ways to optimize its assets

USA — Fresh Del Monte is expanding its crop portfolio to include row crops as it continues to find innovative ways to optimize its assets (including underutilized land) amid global concerns over rising costs and global food shortages.

In a statement, the vertically-integrated producer, distributor, and marketer of fruits and vegetables announced that it has entered into the row crop business – crops that will be grown on the company’s resting lands, in between its core crop seasons.

Fresh Del Monte intends to grow row crops on its “resting lands” in between core crop seasons, and has already kicked off its row crop expansion project with white corn in Guatemala which will be ready for harvest in July 2022.

Furthermore, the company is currently evaluating hundreds of hectares that go through resting periods for additional crop rotation opportunities.

“We as a company are large-scale farmers, and we’re also big on asset optimization and thinking outside the box when it comes to leveraging all our assets,” said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman and chief executive officer of Fresh Del Monte.

Venturing into crops such as corn and sugarcane will generate economic profits for Fresh del Monte, while also addressing the world’s grain shortage and creating a source of employment for its workers between core crop seasons.

Furthermore, the new venture will optimize land, with crop rotation reducing the incidence of soil pests and helping to maintain the biological balance between beneficial and harmful pests at the same time.

Fresh Del Monte reported a US$303.8m gross profit for 2021 compared with US$250.9m in the prior-year period, boosted by improved demand on key product categories. “In 2021 we posted robust double-digit operating income growth compared with 2020,” said Mohammad.

‘We demonstrated agility and industry leadership in navigating the current challenging macroeconomic environment as we focused on mitigating industry-wide supply and labor headwinds.

As the Coral Gables-based fresh produce giant continues to diversify and make optimal use of all its assets, it is bound to realize even greater returns on its future investments.

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