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