DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. IMPLEMENTS NEW ENVIRONMENTAL AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES FOR PINEAPPLE PRODUCTION IN COSTA RICA
Westlake Village, CA - June 27, 2008
Dole Food Company, Inc. today announced the implementation of new, progressive environmental agricultural practices for pineapple production in Costa Rica.
Dole's decision in October of 2007 to discontinue the use of paraquat was quickly implemented worldwide on both company and contracted grower farms. Costa Rica presented specific challenges where the cattle fly (stomoxys calcitrans) could multiply rapidly and reach harmful levels if crop residues were not desiccated by this herbicide.
Working together with the Government of Costa Rica and the Company's own scientists and production team, Dole was able to develop more sustainable agricultural practices allowing for paraquat-free pineapple production. Dole is using innovative practices on its pineapple farms such as mechanical destruction and minimum tillage, eliminating the need to burn crop residue and avoiding release of CO2 into the atmosphere.
"Our model practices on Dole's pineapple farms in Latin America are setting new standards for the entire industry," said Richard Toman, Vice President of Pineapple Operations for Dole Fresh Fruit International, Ltd.
Dole is working to produce a carbon neutral product supply chain for bananas and pineapples in Costa Rica. In partnership with the country's Ministry of Environment and Energy, Dole is engaging supply chain partners and stakeholders to neutralize the carbon footprint resulting from the planting, harvesting, packaging and distribution of bananas and pineapples from Costa Rica.
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2007 revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole markets a growing line of packaged foods and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.