Posted by: hepowers | October 23, 2009

Dole Foods – More Than Just Bananas

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Searching today for corporate social responsibility initiatives, I came across Dole’s impressive list of community, environment, nutrition, employee and charitable giving programs.  It’s a long list!

Here are a few of my favourites:

  • to fix a shortage of school desks, the Chairs for Trees program in the Philippines turns wooden pallets into colourful furniture through a local co-operative; receivers of furniture in turn plant tree seedlings supplied by Dole from a nursery cooperative run by local women
  • the Small Organics Banana Farmers program in Peru supports 1900 family growers over an area of 1570 hectares with packing stations and training in export standards; 2,000 direct and indirect jobs are generated by this program
  • health and medical programs in Ecuador provide mobile medical dispensaries, vaccinations, lab tests, minor surgeries, education and preventative advice to both Dole employees, and for small fees, to anyone else in the community
  • also in Ecuador, women are taught how to make paper from banana stems to create lamp shades, baskets, gift bags and hats which they can then sell for their own income through exports and local fairs

There are many more programs shown on the Dole website.  And if you enjoy learning about your food sources, there are two interesting videos which illustrate the journey of bananas – from flowers in the field to delivery at your local store.

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Responses

  1. Good to read about these initiatives undertaken by Dole. The banana industry has had a bad reputation in the past, and their work to benefit the communities where they are present is encouraging.

    An aside: I always am amazed by the amount of work that women in developing countries do. In addition to looking after children and the elderly, fetching daily water, harvesting and preparing the family food, they find time to participate in cooperatives and micro enterprise activities.

    I think I’ll check on the Chiquita site and see what they are up to!


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