DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. ANNOUNCES ENVIRONMENTAL CERTIFICATION OF ITS FLOWER OPERATIONS
Westlake Village, CA - January 15, 2001
Americaflor LTDA, a subsidiary of Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE: DOL) today announced its certification to the management system requirements of the International Organization for Standardization's environmental standard, ISO 14001. Americaflor is the source of Dole's cut flowers and bouquets. At the same time, Americaflor announced the certification of its bouquet operation to ISO 9002, a quality standard designed to ensure the efficiency of bouquet production.
Dole is committed to producing a quality product in a quality way, with concern for the environment built into everything it does. The certification of Americaflor to ISO 14001 builds on the continuing effort of Dole around the world to adopt consistent, environmentally-protective management systems. At this time, most of the company's operations that produce high quality flower, fruit and vegetable products that are imported into the United States are certified to ISO 14001. Americaflor is the largest grower of fresh flowers in the world and is the first flower producer to become certified to the environmental management standard. This is further proof that Dole applies the same high standard of product quality to the way that product is produced with the environment in mind.
Certification to ISO 14001 means that Americaflor's 20 farms in Colombia and Ecuador and associated operations have trained over 12,000 employees in environmental awareness, prevention of pollution and safe practices. The Company has also implemented composting of organic wastes and developed approaches to conserving water and other natural resources, among other environmental improvements. Americaflor minimizes the application of crop protection products by integrating cultural and biological approaches to controlling pests and plant diseases into its management system.
Audits to the ISO 14001 standard are conducted by third party, independent auditors who certify that companies have a policy to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and policies. The standard also requires companies to have instituted an environmental management system that promotes the identification and resolution of current and future environmental problems, and undergo annual performance reviews to encourage continuous improvement in environmental protection.
Sharon Hayes, Global Director of Environmental Affairs for Dole Food Company, Inc., commented, "We are extremely proud of Americaflor's achievement. It confirms that at Americaflor, environmental stewardship and efficiency in production go hand-in-hand."
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.
This release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations that involve a number of business risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements, which are based on management's current expectations, are generally identifiable by the use of terms such as "believe," "will," "continue," and similar expressions. The potential business risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein include: weather-related phenomena; market responses to industry volume pressures; product and raw material supplies and pricing; changes in interest and currency exchange rates; economic crises in developing countries; and quotas, tariffs and other governmental actions. Further information on the factors that could affect Dole's financial results is included in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K.