Dole Food Company, Inc. DOLE +1.04% announced that Dole is now selling bananas grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified(TM) farms in Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala. The farms meet the Rainforest Alliance's comprehensive environmental and social standards, protecting wildlife habitat and workers alike. Consumers can find Dole bananas with the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal at select retailers throughout the United States.
"We are excited that our banana farms have earned Rainforest Alliance certification, reflecting our commitment to sustainability," said Mike Cavallero, President of Dole's North American Tropical and Fresh Fruit division. "Being able to add the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal to our bananas is a great reminder to our customers of Dole's commitment to environmental stewardship and the well-being of farm workers."
Joining forces with the Rainforest Alliance to bring certified sustainable bananas to consumers in the U.S. is one part of Dole's long-standing commitment to environmental responsibility. The Company's broader four pillars of sustainability focus on protecting the environment in which the Company works through reducing carbon footprint, limiting water use, conserving soils and implementing initiatives aimed at reducing, reusing and recycling packaging.
Rainforest Alliance Certified farms have met the standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), a coalition of leading conservation groups that links responsible farmers with conscientious consumers. Rainforest Alliance certification promotes sustainable farm management and incorporates a range of environmental, social and economic standards, including water and soil conservation, wildlife protection, decent wages, housing and healthcare for farm workers, and access to education for farm children.
"We are thrilled to see Rainforest Alliance Certified Dole bananas in the market," said Sabrina Vigilante, Director of Sustainable Value Chains, Americas & Asia Pacific at the Rainforest Alliance. "We applaud Dole's commitment to sustainability, a clear response to the growing consumer awareness and demand for products that are kind to the earth."
Dole, with 2010 net revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
The Rainforest Alliance works with people, whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, businesses and consumers worldwide are involved in the Rainforest Alliance's efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.