DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. SIGNS LEAFY GREENS MARKETING AGREEMENT
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California, - February 06, 2007
Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc., a subsidiary of Dole Food Company, Inc., today announced that it has signed the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. Under the voluntary Agreement, all participants must adhere to established good agricultural practices (GAP) and food safety guidelines. Dole has always used GAP in all its growing operations and the Company has been a strong supporter of the Agreement as a standard for the industry. Dole has taken food safety one step further by applying the California standards in all states where its leafy greens are grown.
The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement will set mandatory and specific standards for leafy greens supply; the California Department of Food and Agriculture will monitor compliance with the new standards. Facilitated by the Western Growers Association, Dole worked collaboratively with a group that consisted of growers, processors, regulators and members of academia to formulate the Agreement.
Eric Schwartz, President of Dole Fresh Vegetables, said: "Dole is in full support of a uniform, national, leafy greens food safety standard that will set mandatory and explicit guidelines in the produce industry. We strongly encourage our retail and food service customers to support the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement by requiring their produce suppliers to sign this Agreement." Mr. Schwartz also commented that "Food safety is our top priority. This is another example of our commitment to work with government, industry leaders, trade organizations and food safety experts to continuously seek ways to improve and enhance food safety for consumers."
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2005 revenues of $5.9 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers. Dole markets a growing line of packaged foods and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
This release contains "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward looking statements, which are based on management's current expectations, are generally identifiable by the use of terms such as "may," "will," "expects," "believes," "intends" and similar expressions. The potential 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 materials supplies and pricing; changes in interest and currency exchange rates; economic crises and security risks in developing countries; international conflict; and quotas, tariffs and other governmental actions. Further information on the factors that could affect Dole's financial results is included in its SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K.