Heinz helps growers increase yields

16 November 2011

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16 November 2011 | Adam Leach

Food giant Heinz has increased the amount of tomatoes produced by its global supplier base by 9 per cent, according to a report by the company.

Heinz, which uses the fruit in its tomato ketchup and baked bean products, worked with suppliers to improve irrigation and introduce HeinzSeed, which produces higher-yield tomato plants that are also more disease resistant. Its 2010/2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, published yesterday, revealed that as a result, global yields increased by nine per cent, exceeding the original five per cent target.

William R Johnson, chairman, president and CEO, said: “Our team of tomato experts travels the globe to teach farmers how to grow tomatoes more efficiently and sustainably. At the same time, our growers use HeinzSeed, reducing the use of water and pesticides.”

In China, the company increased yield by 68 per cent after it ensured strict adherence to its Good Agricultural Practices policy, sent a team of agronomists to work with Chinese growers and improved drip irrigation.

Meanwhile, through a strategic partnership with Coca-Cola, Heinz has adopted the Coca-Cola PlantBottle, 30 per cent of which is comprised of sustainable plant-based material. The company estimated that the new bottle reduces the whole life cycle carbon footprint of a ketchup bottle by eight to 10 per cent. Heinz said it planned to “build on its strategic alliance with the Coca-Cola Company and develop similar partnerships to capture supply chain synergies”.

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