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Company Overview

About Us

Founded in Hawaii in 1851, Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2010 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 and frozen foods, and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. The Company does business in more than 90 countries and employs, on average, 36,000 full-time, regular employees and 23,000 full-time seasonal or temporary employees, worldwide.

Timeline

History

Our story started in 1851 in Hawaii with the establishment of Castle & Cooke.

In 1899 James Dole arrived in Hawaii with $1000 in his pocket, a Harvard degree in business and horticulture and a love of farming. He began by growing pineapples. After harvesting the world’s sweetest, juiciest pineapples, he started shipping them back to mainland USA. To enable as many people as possible to enjoy this delicious fruit, he developed a technique for canning them. He wanted to make the sunshine and taste of Hawaiian pineapples available for everyone. This is how he built the Company: on a reputation of quality. And it remains true to this day.

Dole is now the world’s largest producer, distributor and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables. We are experts. It’s what we do, and we take great care to see that we do it well.

The DOLE name is known and trusted by millions of people around the world for product quality, taste and goodness, contributing to your health and wellbeing.

Our historic and iconic Dole canned pineapple was first enjoyed in Europe almost 50 years ago. Dole bananas followed, as we developed our fresh fruit range and added ripening and distribution facilities to ensure that our fruit arrives in perfect condition at the store.

Today we import a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables from both our own farms and some 7000 independent growers located all over the world. And our Packaged Foods business provides you with a growing line of innovative products, allowing you to enjoy fruit in more convenient formats!

1851–1900

1851

The foundations of Dole Food Company, Inc. are laid as Samuel Castle and Amos Cooke, originally from Boston, set up their trading company in Hawaii.

1863

Philipp Astheimer & Sohn is established in Hamburg, Germany. This company is now the basis for Dole’s European business.

1899

James Drummond Dole comes to Hawaii, fresh out of Harvard's School of Horticulture & Agriculture.

1901–1950

1901

James Dole begins growing pineapples in Wahiawa, on Oahu Island, Hawaii. He founds the Hawaiian Pineapple Company and starts to make the name of "Hawaii" synonymous with "pineapple". Dole makes his famous quality pledge: “We have built this company on quality, and quality, and quality”.

1907

Dole moves his pineapple cannery to Honolulu and places advertisements in U.S. magazines to promote pineapple – one of the first nationwide consumer advertising campaigns in America.

1911

A Dole engineer, Henry Ginaca, invents a machine that peels, cores and cuts pineapple at the speed of up to 100 pineapples per minute. The Ginaca is now an industry standard.

1915

The Hawaiian Pineapple Company becomes Hawaii’s second largest industry.

1932

Castle & Cooke acquires ownership of 21% of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company.

1933

Recognizing the popularity and quality associated with James Dole's name, the company first stamps "DOLE" on cans of pineapple and pineapple juice.

1951–1990

1961

Dole merges with Castle and Cooke and keeps the DOLE brand.

1963

Dole Philippines, the pineapple-growing operations in the Philippines, is organised under the name Dolefil.

1964

Castle & Cooke purchases a 55% interest in the Standard Fruit & Steamship Company, New Orleans, entering the banana business. It later acquires 100%.

1972

Standard Fruit bananas adopt the DOLE® label, replacing the existing Cabana® label.

1973

Castle & Cooke develops two large banana plantations on the coasts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Castle & Cooke banana operations become the leader in the North American market.

1975

Philipp Astheimer & Sohn is acquired by Castle & Cooke.

1978

Dole bananas are launched in Europe.

Castle & Cooke purchases Bud Antle, Inc., a vegetable company, and begins marketing vegetables from Dole.

1982

The Dole product range in Europe is extended to include citrus and deciduous fruits.

1986

The Dole logo is redesigned. The bright yellow sunburst is chosen, signifying freshness, quality, wholesomeness and good-tasting products.

1988

Philipp Astheimer & Sohn marks its 125th anniversary. The company is renamed Dole Fresh Fruit Europe OHG.

1990

Dole Fresh Vegetables division introduces a line of value-added packaged fresh vegetable products, which include pre-cut vegetables and salads. This soon becomes the fastest growing segment in supermarkets – the refrigerated, pre-cut vegetables and salad section – offering nutrition, good taste and convenience to consumers.

1991–2000

1991

Dole launches the "Dole 5 A Day Programme" to encourage young children and their families to eat five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

1995

Dole's global reach extends to more than 90 countries with a product line of over 170 fresh and packaged food products.

1998

In July of 1998, Dole's banana operations in Costa Rica become the first banana exporter and the first agricultural producer in the world to become certified to the environmental management system requirements of ISO 14001. Dole's other divisions in Latin American and Asia follow in 1999.

1999

Dole introduces Fruit Bowls®, the first all-natural fruit snack in a plastic cup. In mainland Europe they are known as Fruit Snacks.

2001–Today

2001

Dole introduces organic bananas.

2002

Dole's two newest container ships – the DOLE CHILE and the DOLE COLOMBIA – receive the "Winner for Innovation in Shipbuilding Containership" at the Lloyds List Awards.

2003

Dole is taken private by Mr. D. H. Murdock.

Foundation of the Dole Nutrition Institute to "Feed the World with Knowledge" through research and education.

2004

Foundations laid for California WellBeing Institute.

Dole acquires JR Woods (frozen fruits) in the US.

Acquisition of Coastal Berry Company LLC (leading producer of fresh California coastal strawberries and bushberries).

2005

Completion of the acquisition of SABA Trading AB (Sweden).

2007

Dole Food Company, Inc. is named to "World's Most Ethical Companies" list by Ethisphere Magazine.

2010

Dole France, UK, Spain and Portugal are sold to Compagnie Fruitière, in which Dole has a 40% interest.

2011

Dole acquires berry grower and marketer Sunny Ridge.

2012

Dole acquires a 100% interest in Mrs. May’s Naturals.

2013

Dole completes sale of Worldwide Packaged Foods and Asia Fresh Businesses to Itochu