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.