DOLE FRESH FLOWERS CONTINUES TO DOMINATE THE FLORAL INDUSTRY WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT IT HAS ACHIEVED RENEWAL AS THE ONLY ISO APPROVED FLORAL GROWER
MIAMI, Florida - June 02, 2004
With the renewal of its ISO 14001 certification, Dole Fresh Flowers, headquartered in Miami, Florida, retains its place as the floral industry leader. Dole Fresh Flowers was first certified to the ISO 14001 standard in December 2000. The company continues to be the only floral company in the world certified to this internationally recognized standard. ISO 14001 certification gives Dole customers assurance that Dole is continually working to ensure that its environmental and employment standards are the best in the industry.
"Achieving ISO 14001 certification means that our flower operations have passed inspection by SGS International Certification Services", said John Schouten, President of Dole Fresh Flowers. "This third party certification ensures that Dole has an active environmental management system covering all activities in bouquet production and flower production processes, as well as post harvest packing houses, integrated and disease pest management control, labs and service areas. Just as important, it demonstrates that Dole has programs in place designed to protect its labor force."
Getting Certified: "In order to qualify for this certification," Schouten continued, "Dole was required to provide evidence that it is in compliance with national laws and regulations dealing with the environmental controls. In addition, companies must have in place programs for the preservation of natural resources, minimization and control of any residues or solid waste, controls to prevent airborne contamination and utilize only crop protection products permitted by EPA, European Union (EU) or any country where operating."
Monitoring the Supply Chain: Companies reaching this high-level of certification are required to have the following procedures in place: Informing all employees (at all levels) about the labor and environmental rules and regulations;Ensuring all workers and processes involved are documented;Monitoring by external auditors who go to the fields and interview workers to determine if rules are followed all the way through the labor chain;Ongoing monitoring by external auditors that survey the operations for initial certification, followed by a six-month check-up.
On an ongoing basis, Dole Fresh Flowers has internal auditors and environmental management officials on the farms, walking through the fields, to ensure the company complies with ongoing regulations.
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2003 revenues of $4.8 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers, markets a growing line of packaged foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
This release contains "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward looking statements, which are based on management's current expectations, are generally identifiable by the use of terms such as "may," "will," "expects," "believes," "intends" and similar expressions. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein include weather-related phenomena; market responses to industry volume pressures; product and raw materials supplies and pricing; electrical power supply and pricing; changes in interest and currency exchange rates; economic crises and security risks in developing countries; international conflict; and quotas, tariffs and other governmental actions. Further information on the factors that could affect Dole's financial results is included in its SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K.