Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE: DOLE) President and CEO David A. DeLorenzo yesterday discussed the Company’s ongoing corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts in Central America in a forum organized by CentraRSE in Guatemala City.
CentraRSE, or Center for implementing Corporate Social Responsibility, was founded in 2003 and has over 100 company members, generating approximately 30% of Guatemala’s GDP. Approximately 560 people, representing many different local stakeholders, partook in the forum, opened by Alvaro Colom, President of the Republic of Guatemala. The discussion with Dole’s CEO focused on the subject of “companies as actors for change.” David DeLorenzo’s introduction focused on how Dole has been contributing for decades to the development of communities in Central America and shared Dole’s efforts to address the Company’s “three pillars of sustainability,” namely Carbon Footprint, Water Use and Soil Conservation.
“Dole always strives to be a responsible corporate citizen in all of the countries in which we operate,” said DeLorenzo. “Central America is a region in which we’ve been particularly active, whether it is by building up the regional economy through infrastructure investment, creating local jobs, developing community programs or partnering with local growers to implement sustainable agricultural programs. In addition, wherever possible, Dole partners with global NGOs, research groups, and other non-profits that bring additional expertise to very specific areas of Corporate Responsibility and sustainability.”
Dole also proactively attempts to engage regional partners for the benefit of its Central American workforce. One example of this is Dole’s participation in the World Banana Forum, an assembly space used to promote open dialogue on the challenges facing the banana industry. Participants include NGOs, standard-setting organizations, trade unions, and governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 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.
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