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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”.