When I joined GGP as their first independent CEO nearly 3 years ago, I came in from an entirely different industry, and then I realized that pineapples are a far more complex business than I had imagined. I knew I was joining a strong, reliable company with an established global presence and reputation. My first impression was that the whole company is about quality, which is rigorously controlled at every stage, from soil preparation, planting and harvesting, to processing, packaging and shipping. Pineapples are a food product, so food safety is central to our operations. Our customers trust us, because their customers all over the world are consuming what we produce.
Zero waste is a tradition
Zero waste means we use everything from the pineapple. Actually, in the East, our ancestors traditionally teach how to recycle and not produce waste. Therefore, GGP turned pineapple skin to cattle feed and the company invested in a cattle feedlot. By solving the problem, we gained not just a solution, but also organic manure and another revenue stream. Besides recycling pineapple skins, we also extract bromelain enzyme from the pineapple stems.
Investing in the environment
Investment in the environment is not a one-off event, it is a continual process. Whenever there is a possibility of turning waste into a resource, we look at it very seriously. Our waste water recycling plant and biogas production unit are the latest in a series of major ecological initiatives to transform waste into recycled energy. The biogas plant started production mid last year supplying energy to GGP
power plant generator replacing a part of coal consumption. We are working towards increasing biogas
production in the near future. And... to demonstrate our commitment to the environment, we have established a Sustainability Division headed by a director. He is responsible for the entire "Green agenda" and GGP's Corporate Social Responsibility program.
Currently, our bamboo planting has already proved to be a successful soil conservation measure. As bamboo is one of the best solutions for reducing carbon dioxide, and releasing oxygen 3 to 4 times higher than other trees, our 6,500 acres of bamboo in our pineapple plantation has already been reducing the carbon footprint for years. In addition, GGP is actively looking to further reduce our carbon footprint by another 10% over the next 5 year period. (These also help to restore the soil to optimum levels of fertility. When you look after Nature, Nature looks after you.)
One of our competitive advantages is traceability. This has got to do with food safety. In the event a trace is required, GGP is able to trace back from the can codes to the processing of each batch of pineapple. With the can code, we can even identify which plot of land we harvested our pineapple from, and the batch of cans produced in our cannery, in less than 24 hours. “Time is an essence for traceability”. Full traceability is possible because of our established process in an entirely vertically integrated operation.
The greatest challenge in GGP is People. Our people are pivotal to our success, forming an extensive base of skills and experience that feed into systems ensuring everything runs smoothly and on schedule. (The sense of ownership and loyalty create strong employee commitment to make GGP a number three pineapple producer in the world). However, moving forward, to ensure people continue to have great skills and commitment, we invested in a new training center last year. This training center will not only have programs for functional and technical training but also for talent development and leadership skills. We need to build the next generation of leaders for GGP.
We rolled out the 30-40-50 program, in which the target is to reduce fuel usage by 30% through improving farming services efficiency, reduce chemical fertilizer usage by 40% by soil enhancement, and increase yield by 50% with better farming practices.
YOU KNOW.... I'm proud to be the first independent CEO of the third-largest pineapple producer in the world. My next task is to take the company to the next level. I believe there are still a lot of opportunities for GGP to realize. To expand our horizons and explore new markets, GGP will continue to work hard to add value to our customers by providing better services and by expanding and creating
new product lines for the markets. We will do it in a sustainable manner for our organization. This is not all, we also need to strengthen our internal operational processes, improve our operational efficiency, and develop strong leadership at every level of our organization.
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