Oct 24, 2007

Carbon Compensation - Dole Organic Team - ECUADOR

Dole Carbon Neutral Program has now started in the Organic Projects in Ecuador.

Leaded by Carlos Alberto Santos, Dole Organic Team in Ecuador compensated the Carbon emissions for the period 2007 - 2008 for their personal vehicules.

Nelson Marchan and Braulio Velez were the first in compensate their car´s emissions, so they got their DOLE ECO-Marchamo. They are also promoting the planting of trees to compensate the Carbon emissions for all vehicules among the independent organic banana farmers who export their fruit with UBESA - DOLE Ecuador.

Dole Ecuador own organic farm, Nueva Esperanza, will also compensate the carbon emissions from all the transportation vehicules by planting native trees on the farm. The farm is going to organize an activity to plant trees and celebrate a Carbon Compensation Day. We will report on this activity in the near future.

Worldwide accepted standards establish in 5.5 Tons of Equivalent Carbon, the emissions per vehicule per year. Those emissions can be compensated by planting 11 trees per car per year.

Oct 2, 2007

Ethisphere Magazine article on Dole Carbon Neutral Project

Dole Food Company, Inc. Announces New Carbon Neutral Project

August 25th, 2007
Dole Food Company announced that its Costa Rican subsidiary, Fondo Nacional de Financiamento Forestal, the National Forestry Financing Fund and an entity of the Ministry of Environment and Energy of CostaRica partnered to create a carbon neutral supply chain for banana and pineapple products. The products moving from Costa Rica to North America and Europe will now travel via new, efficient transportation methods with reduced CO2 emissions.

David A. DeLorenzo, President and CEO of Dole champions the cause by saying:

“The environment is a concern for all of us. Companies, consumers, governments and non-governmental organizations should endeavor to promote and adopt new production and distribution methods and consumption behavior in order to reverse harmful trends to the environment.”

Sep 25, 2007

Brand new website for Dole Organic

Dear Dole Consumer:

Taking into account most of the ideas and requests received from our visitors, DoleOrganic.com is launching its new website.
A more advanced technology and an improved design which allows a better visitor experience is now added to our concept on how to make the link between the farm and the consumer.
We invite you to access the BETA version of DoleOrganic.com and leave your comments about your experience.

Please follow this link: http://www.doleorganic.com

Kind regards,

Dole Organic Team.

Aug 11, 2007

Dole Food Company, Inc. Announces Carbon Neutral Project in Collaboration with Costa Rica

Dole Food Company, Inc. announced that Standard Fruit de Costa Rica, Dole's operating subsidiary in Costa Rica, and Fondo Nacional de Financiamento Forestal (FONAFIFO), the National Forestry Financing Fund and an entity of the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, signed a ground breaking agreement to work together on a project aimed at establishing a carbon neutral product supply chain for bananas and pineapples, from their production in Costa Rica to the markets in North America and Europe.

'Carbon neutral,' as applied to the banana and pineapple product supply chains, means that the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted to produce, pack, transport and distribute the fruit will be offset by mitigation practices which increase the capture of CO2 in order to achieve a 'neutral' balance. These practices entail new, more efficient transportation methods, changes to agricultural processes to reduce CO2 emissions, and partnering with local farmers to implement preservation and reforestation programs.

David A. DeLorenzo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dole Food Company, Inc., stated, "The environment is a concern for all of us. Companies, consumers, governments and non-governmental organizations should endeavor to promote and adopt new production and distribution methods and consumption behavior in order to reverse harmful trends to the environment. As the world's largest producer and distributor of fruits and vegetables, Dole is determined to take the lead in its sector and the agreement with FONAFIFO is a good starting point."

Roberto Dobles, PhD., Minister of the Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, stated, "Dole is such an important company in the production of bananas and pineapples on a global level that we are very enthusiastic that Standard Fruit made the decision to strive to become a carbon neutral company here in Costa Rica and join our efforts to become the first carbon neutral country in the world by 2021. With this agreement, Dole demonstrates its enormous capacity to innovate and develop processes that will be reflected in benefits to the environment. I hope that this initiative will be followed by others in the private sector, so that we may unite efforts in favor of the environment."

Sylvain Cuperlier, Vice President, Director of Worldwide Corporate Social Responsibility of Dole Food Company, Inc., stated, "Dole has long been recognized for its environmental programs. Today, we want to utilize the Company's environmental management systems and our staff's expertise to produce and market 'carbon neutral' bananas and pineapples. To this end, we want to pull together all resources available within our Company and partner further with recognized organizations. Dole's achievements in this area will come from working relationships with our employees, independent producers, labor representatives, government, academia, NGOs, customers, and suppliers."

This project in Costa Rica will include the Organic Pineapple Farm who produces our "YourChoice" Organic Pineapples so they will become Organic C-Neutral Pineapples in the near future.

Other Dole Organic operations, as Don Pedro Farm in La Guajira, Colombia, have started with the efforts to compensate the carbon emissions. In June, during the celebration of Planet´s Day, all vehicules drivers planted trees to compensate the 5.5 Tons of CO2 genereated, as an average, by each vehicule each year. Thus, every vehicule used in Don Pedro Farm is now Carbon Compensated until next Planet´s Day.

Jul 24, 2007

Ethics Gone Bananas

Taken from: Inside Work.
by Andrew Wooldridge.
Consumer Quality Control
Ethics Gone Bananas
In a world where the concept of ethics seems to have gone bananas, it turns out that bananas can teach a lesson or two about ethics.

Dole Organic now places 3-digit Farm Codes on each banana.Socially and environmentally-conscious buyers can plug the numbers into Dole’s website and look at a bio of the farm where their bananas were raised. The site tells the story of the farm and its surrounding community, lists its organic certifications, posts some photos, and offers a link to satellite images of the farm in Google Earth. Customers can personally monitor the production and treatment of their fruit from the tree to the grocer. The process assures the customer that their bananas have been raised to proper organic standards on an environmentally-friendly, holistically-minded plantation.
And food producers aren’t the only ones jumping on the bandwagon. Flocks, a Rotterdam-based designer clothing company, uses one sheep’s wool in each cardigan it produces. When shipped to its new owner, the sweater is tagged with that specific animal’s “passport,” including its breed, weight, age, birthplace, and photo. By actively communicating their products’ origin, Flocks connects its customers with its clothing in a unique fashion.

As the world shrinks, the distance between consumer and manufacturer shrinks too. Customers are taking an active interest in where and how their goods are produced: Is the environment being treated well? Are the methods sustainable? Are the animals treated humanely? Are the humans treated humanely? So far these companies are primarily using this connection to disclose their environmental impact and to give consumers a good story to tell their friends, but this intimate monitoring could bring accountability to other aspects of production: fair wages, child labor, safe facilities, job security, health care, etc.
It reminds me of the words of James:
"Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty."

And of Jesus in Luke 18:
"And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly."
While technology won’t bring to light every inhumane and unjust business practice, it does provide unique tools for consumers to hold their producers accountable with. What if providing information about production and manufacturing sources becomes standard? Will your company have to change practices or suppliers? Or will your company be able to say that their treatment of both the environment and their employees is upright and ethical throughout the entire chain of production?

Andrew Wooldridge (posted on 7/20/2007)

Jun 4, 2007

The system works! This three digits DPC created the link between the consumers and the farms.

On May 24th, Amelia Shepard from U.S. sent an e-mail to Don Pedro Farm employees after visiting doleorganic.com and accessing the farm web page by entering the three digits DPC. They read it and wrote an answer to her kind message.

---Amanda Shepard wrote:--------
05/24/2007 12:58 PM
Name: Amanda Shepard
Country: USA
Comments: Thank you for what you are doing. Thank you for giving consumers the opportunity to provide aid and hope with our choices. Thank you also for this site that allows us to get a glimpse of the lives of those growing the bananas and the beautiful land on which the bananas are grown. I will think of the people and the beautiful landscape at Don Pedro Farm every time I eat a Dole organic banana. Be so proud of what you are doing!!

And here it is the answer from the Farm Employees:

To: Amanda Shepard

With all our appreciation:
Finca Don Pedro

Ms. Shepard:

Today, at 6:05 AM, I personally read your e-mail to all our employees in Don Pedro Farm in La Guajira Colombia. They are very happy and very proud about your words. It was a different way to start their working day, somebody from a foreign country, thousands of miles north of their home town sending a beautiful and inspiring message to them, was reason enough to consider today as their better day at work ever. Luis Monge, Organic Program, DFFI.

Some of them decided to send a brief answer to you:

Jamayaa Laula Sherpard,
Hicho Arpushana tanuuria. Talatshimai tayaa suluu tayatai Finca Don Pedro. Wayüu tayaa.
Tashequin ayatawaa. Karratshi tachoin Riohacha tepia.
Anasmai putumaa tu cararouta.
Ayatuinhachi tayaa ayatain sulu tu quinevapuka supula jiakala.
Hello Ms. Shepard, I am very glad that you liked our organic bananas.
My name is Hicho Arpushana and I am Wayüu (Indian Tribe from the Sierra Nevada). I work in the harvest of the fruit at Don Pedro Farm. Because people like you choose our product I have a good job in this farm and my wife and 7 children have a better life in Riohacha – a city located 30 miles north of the farm - Thank you for you letter. I will keep harvesting the best bananas for you. (Translation from Wayüu native language – Wuayunaiki - made by Juan Pablo Romero:)

Hi Ms. Shepard!
What a beautiful message. Thank you for your support.
My name is Dulcinis Atencio, but my friends call me Dulce (Sweet in Spanish), I am mother of 4 and live in a small town called Camarones (shrimp in Spanish), 10 miles away from the farm.
I evaluate the agronomical practices at the banana fields.
Your letter made me feel that my work is appreciated.
Thank you very much!

Ms. Shepard:
My name is Jaider Deluque; I am 40 years old, have 1 son and also live in Camarones, close to Dulce´s house.
I work on the harvest crew.
I harvested these bananas for you. I hope you like them.
Thanks for the note.

Hi Amanda!
My name is Marta Conde from Comejenes, a small town next to Don Pedro Farm.
I am 25 years old, have 4 children and my fifth will born at the end of July.
This is my first job, I started out on the nursery, then I got promoted to the packing plant and now, as I am in my sixth month of pregnancy, they gave me a softer job preparing the identification colored ribbons for the fruit, so your next bananas will be harvested on time.
Thanks a lot for your letter and for buying our organic bananas.

Ms. Shepard:
You made my day with your note!
It was a nice way to start my work this morning, imaging how much you appreciate the work that I do at Don Pedro Farm even when you didn’t know me.
My name is Kilder Toro, my job is to take care of the bananas you will eat in two years from today, and yes I am responsible for the banana plant nursery. I take the baby banana plants and help them to grow healthy enough to be planted on the fields.
Enjoy them!

Hola Ms. Shepard!
Mi name is Marcelino Deluque from Comejenes. I am a father of 6, big family I know!!!, but no problem, I am a tractor driver in Don Pedro Farm and thanks to my job I can afford it.
Your letter was very kind, we appreciated it a lot.
Thanks for take the time to send it to us.

Yes, I am the cook at Don Pedro Farm and I also liked your letter. You must be a very special person to send us such a beautiful message.
Even when I do not work directly with the bananas as my partners do, I feed them all, so I am part of the team too.
Whenever you want to taste a real Guajira meal, come to Don Pedro and I will prepare something special for you.
Thank you for choosing our organic bananas.
Luz Elena Nuñez.

Ms. Shepard:
Hi, we are Karen and Yaimi.
Your letter is very inspiring for us. We both work checking the quality of your bananas.
It is very nice to receive a note like yours. We will keep doing our best to send the best quality fruit to your home.
Thank you for letting us know that we are doing good.

Hi, I am Midelfi Mejías, mother of 3. I live in Camarones and work at the packing plant in Don Pedro.
You said you will keep us in your mind every time you eat an organic banana, we promise to keep you in mind every time we pack your bananas.
Thank you for your letter.


Señora Shepard:
Everything started with this small sticker with the three digits... It is hard to believe that this tiny piece of paper created a beautiful link between you and all of us in Don Pedro.
My name is Tatiana Barros from Tigreras, another small town about 10 miles away from Don Pedro, I am 23, mother of 2 and I put the stickers on the organic bananas.

Señora Amanda:
Hi, I am Briceña, I work with Tatiana and also live in Tigreras. (But I am still single!!!)
I just wanted to say GRACIAS, because you made me feel very good with your words.

Thanks a lot, I mean it.
Briceña Pallares.

Ms. Shepard:
Take a look. This is a 48 boxes pallet ready to be sent to your country. My job is to keep the track on every box we send from Don Pedro to the rest of the World.
Can you see the bar codes, well I enter every code on a traceability system and if we want to know the location of a specific box, we just need to ask the system and it will let us know everything about that box.
But now, we went further, today we knew something more about our bananas, we now know that you choose them and that you like them.
Thank you for letting us know.
Olga Morales, 22 years old, Tigreras.

Ms. Shepard:
My name is José Ferreira, Manager of Don Pedro Farm.
Today we worked harder and more inspired than ever.
As this enormous Ceiba tree in the middle of the farm, we want to keep growing and offering the best to the World.
But as this tree needs the soil, we need your support.
Thank you very much for your e-mail.

¡Thank you - Gracias – Anasmai !

Don Pedro Team
La Guajira, Colombia
May 30th, 2007

May 17, 2007

2007 World's Most Ethical Companies

Dole has been elected as one of the 2007 World's Most Ethical Companies

Ethisphere Magazine recognizes and rewards ethical leadership and business practices worldwide.

The winners of the World’s Most Ethical Companies are the standouts. Each forces other companies to follow its leadership or fall behind. Each uses ethical leadership as a profit driver.
Ethics are absolute. Business ethics are relational. And ethical leadership requires a position of influence.
What does that mean? Certainly there are absolutes to business ethics, such as respecting employees and stakeholders, competing fairly and within the law, and being a responsible corporate citizen.
Companies routinely compete for recognition for their “corporate citizenship” or “best place to work” award. And predictably, a select few pharmaceutical companies, a handful of consulting and high-tech firms, and a couple of retailers appear near the top of the list.
The absolutes are the necessary grounding for a company to have strong core values to build upon. The context is the environment in which a company operates, both geographically as well as industrially.
The best lens through which to view a company’s ethical leadership behavior is to examine a company compared to other companies in the same industry. Are they leading, are they following, or are they ignoring? And to be a leader, the company needs to have or build a competitive edge, such as size or technology, which allows it to be influential.
In assembling the 2007 rankings of the World’s Most Ethical Companies, the researchers and editors of Ethisphere examined more than 5,000 companies across 30 separate industries looking for true ethical leadership.
We looked for absolutes. We examined companies in relational context of their industries. And we looked for influential leadership that moved others to change or follow.
Companies were measured in a rigorous eight-step process and then scored against nine distinct ethical leadership criteria.


Dole was the only one Fresh Fruit, Vegetables and Flowers company ranked by Ethisphere Magazine.

As part of the 2007 Word’s Most Ethical Companies analysis, Ethisphere Council researchers interviewed dozens and dozens of companies in great depth about their compliance and ethics activities. This included talking to “both” CEOs (the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Ethics Officer) in most cases. Following are some excerpts and reports from selected companies that we found particularly worth highlighting.


The winners of the World’s Most Ethical Companies are the standouts. Each of these companies has materially higher scores versus competitors in their industries. Each forces other companies to follow its leadership or fall behind. Each uses ethical leadership as a profit driver. And each of these companies embodies the true spirit of Ethisphere’s credo: Good. Smart. Business. Profit.


View the complete article at: http://www.ethisphere.com/Ethisphere_Magazine_0207/WME-2007-Q2

May 7, 2007

Dole Organic Website: building the link between the farm and the organic consumer

In February 2007, Dole Organic Program launched its website doleorganic.com with the objective to approach the organic consumer to the origin of the product.
Three months later, this initiative has been accepted as a great idea and as something that should be replicated.
Dole Organic Program will launch its BETA version of doleorganic.com very soon. The new version will include many of the suggestions received including the feedbacks and comments left on the contact e-mail and those published on blogs and websites.

Dole Organic Program is committed with the transparency and the building of a new relationship with Dole consumers.

This is just the beggining.

Dole Organic.

Here they are some comments about the website: doleorganic.com

Chews Wise by Samuel Fromartz: The Transparent Banana?
" Dole revealed a shape of things to come in the food market - Transparency! - by allowing customers to see where their bananas come from."

Groovy Green by Steve Balogh: The Transparent Banana? "... transparency is beginning to show up in the grocery store. What a great concept."

Digital Media Wire by Rohit Bhargava: Dole´s Organic Bananas and the Importance of Backstories "...the effort represents a great example of new thinking that product marketers are using to capitalize on the global trend towards ethical consumerism..."

American Feast´s Sustainable Food Blog by Tim Tango: Look up your Food Online "... This is an ingenious use of the Internet and one that should be replicated..."

Typepad by Amelia Torode: Talking Green Bananas "...it's a really smart piece of creative thinking... educated consumers are still looking for "the story behind..."

"I am fascinated by the Dole Organics story - on their site they are picking up on blog posts and consumer comments about this initiative. I think that this is a great case study of who to use the web to a smart, positive effect."

chroma by Dino Demopoulos: Transmedia Bananas "...it's pretty smart. And it gives you an excuse to use the phrase "transmedia bananas".

Treehugger by Kara DiCamillo: Do you know where your banana has been? "We find this a very interesting concept that seems extremely beneficial for consumers."