DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. LAUNCHES NEW TOOL BRINGING CONSUMERS CLOSER TO ORGANIC BANANA FARMS
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. - February 14, 2007
Dole Food Company, Inc. announced today that Dole Fresh Fruit International, Ltd., its fresh fruit division in Latin America, launched a new website (www.doleorganic.com) that houses several interactive tools aimed at bringing consumers closer to its organic banana operations. Dole is launching this innovative system in response to demand from consumers who increasingly want specific information relative to the farms where the Dole organic bananas are grown or purchased from growers.
Key to the system is the Dole organic bananas' label, which is printed with a unique farm code that corresponds to the specific farm where the product was sourced. When consumers enter the indicated code into the new Dole website specifically developed for this purpose (www.doleorganic.com), they gain access to the farm's page, where they can find information regarding the farm's characteristics (country, location, certifications), have the opportunity to learn more about the grower, read stories about Dole-sponsored projects in the communities and look at pictures. Furthermore, the Dole organic website has a link to the most advanced satellite images technology available on the internet, enabling consumers to actually view the farm where the bananas they purchased were grown and the neighboring areas.
'This new tool is both ground-breaking and interactive. Consumers can now virtually visit the farms where the Dole organic bananas they buy are grown. It is an educational tool, which increases transparency and thus consumer confidence in our products and in our brand', says Frans Wielemaker, Director of Sourcing and Development Organic Program of Dole Fresh Fruit International in San JosÃ©, Costa Rica.
Dole produces organically-grown bananas in its own farms and sources from independent organic growers located in Honduras, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Peru for the European, North American and Japanese Markets and also in the Philippines for the Asian Markets. 100% of Dole's organic bananas are certified organic and adhere to the organic production standards as set by the law in the US, EU or Japan.
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 foods and frozen fruit 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; 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.