DOLE FOOD COMPANY HONORED WITH FIRST-EVER ETHICAL WORKPLACE AWARD
Westlake Village, CA - June 28, 2000
On June 15th, Dole Food Company was awarded the Ethical Workplace Award from Social Accountability International (SAI). The award was presented at the Council on Economic Priorities (CEP) annual Corporate Conscience Awards dinner in New York City by Eileen Kohl Kaufman, Executive Director of SAI. SAI, formerly known as the Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency, is the developer of the international humane workplace standard, Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000).
Pascual Hermanos, a majority-owned Dole subsidiary, was recognized by this award for being the first agricultural operation in the world to obtain SA8000 certification. The workplace policies, practices and overall management system of the Spanish-based operation was certified by SGS-ICS, an internationally recognized, social accountability auditor.
Dole has been a champion of environmental quality and worker welfare, and has been pursuing a policy outside the U.S. of certifying its operations to standards for environmental management systems such as ISO 14001, and now workplace issues, beginning with SA8000 at Pascual Hermanos. The certification audit was conducted by SGS-ICS in March, and the certificate was issued in June, 2000, following on the heels of Pascual's certification to ISO 14001 in late 1999.
SA8000 is a standard developed by SAI based on principles enunciated in International Labor Organization Conventions and the United Nation's Declaration of Human Rights and Convention on the Rights of the Child. The standard was developed as a means of addressing substandard working conditions and practices both in the U.S. and abroad. For more information about SAI and SA8000, see website www.cepaa.org.
Sharon Hayes, Director of Environmental Affairs for Dole Food Company, commented, "We are extremely proud to be the recipient of this award. It further affirms for us a process that has involved a lot of hard work and commitment on the part of our company. We are very pleased with our current accomplishments. And, of course, it's always good to know that our achievements have not gone unnoticed." Ms. Hayes added, "This process is ongoing and, like ISO 14001, is dependent on principles of continuous improvement."
Pascual Hermanos is the largest fresh fruit and vegetable producer in Spain. Located near the town of Murcia in Southern Spain, it operates 100 growing, processing and packing sites, and employs 3000 people. Its primary products are lettuce, tomatoes and citrus fruit.
In order to become certified to SA8000, Pascual Hermanos developed a system to monitor and improve workplace conditions, implemented procedures aimed at protecting employee health and safety and instituted a feedback loop enabling all of the company's employees to stay informed and updated on issues related to employee welfare.
To remain certified to SA8000, Pascual Hermanos must be subject to review audits designed to confirm the maintenance and improvement of its systems for the protection of worker health and welfare.
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 1999 revenues of $5.1 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, vegetables and fresh-cut flowers and markets a growing line of packaged foods.