DOLE FOOD COMPANY INC. ANNOUNCES SIGNING OF AN AGREEMENT CREATING A WORKER PROGRAM FOR HONDURAN BANANA WORKERS CLAIMING INJURIES AS A RESULT OF EXPOSURE TO DBCP
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California - October 23, 2006
Dole Food Company, Inc. today announced that Standard Fruit de Honduras, S.A. has reached an agreement with the Government of Honduras and representatives of Honduran banana workers. This agreement establishes a Worker Program that is intended by the parties to resolve in a fair and equitable manner the claims of male banana workers alleging sterility as a result of exposure to the agricultural chemical DBCP. While Dole believes there is no reliable scientific basis for alleged injuries from the agricultural field application of DBCP, the Company has continued to seek reasonable resolution of the pending claims. The Program will not have a material effect on Dole's financial condition or results of operations.
Michael Carter, Dole's Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary said "The Honduran Worker Program reflects Dole's continued efforts to resolve DBCP claims worldwide. It is good for the community and good for the Company. This agreement was only reached after a tremendous effort by all interested parties. Dole has consistently demonstrated its willingness to compensate those workers who meet minimum criteria, consistent with reliable science, in an effort to resolve disputed claims." Mr. Carter also commented that "As in Honduras, Dole is committed in finding a prompt resolution to the DBCP claims in Nicaragua, and is prepared to pursue a structured worker program with science-based criteria.
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2005 revenues of $5.9 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen 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.