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Dole reports motivation,

health and safety, and productivity
benefits from ISO 14001
Underlying an announcement by Dole Food Co. Inc., claimed to be the world’s largest
producer of high-quality fresh fruit, vegetables and fresh-cut flowers, that it has added
certified organic bananas to its list of organically grown fruit products is a global environ-
mental management system (EMS) approach to environmental protection. Sharon Hayes,
Director of Environmental Affairs, reports that virtually all of the company’s operations in
Latin America, Thailand, the Philippines, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast and Europe are now
certified to ISO 14001.

‘Dole has been able to reduce

the amount of crop protection
products applied to fruit and
has installed water treatment
S ince January 2001, Dole Fresh
Fruit Co., a subsidiary of Dole
the production of organic bananas,
which are grown without the use of
Food Co. Inc.1), of Westlake Village, commercial chemicals and fertilizers.
and recycling systems that
have increased water conser- California, USA, has been offering Emphasizing improvements in soil
vation significantly, as a certified organic bananas to con- fertility, as well as biological and cul-
result of implementing ISO sumers as part of its policy of demon- tural approaches to pests and plant
14001,’ says Sharon Hayes, strating environmental excellence diseases, Dole is now able to add
Director of Environmental while growing and marketing high organic bananas to its list of fresh
Affairs, Dole Food Co. Inc., quality food products. Initially, the fruit products,” says Sharon Hayes,
seen here (circled) with
members of the company’s organic bananas will be grown at the company’s Director of Environ-
environmental management Dole’s ISO 14001-certified farms in mental Affairs.
team. Ecuador and Honduras, certified as The development is another step
organic by US-based certification in Dole’s environmental manage-
agencies and inspected by the ment system (EMS) approach to
Independent Organic Inspectors environmental protection, Ms. Hayes
Association to ensure organic adds. “While some companies treat
integrity. the environment as a public relations
“For several years, the company issue, at Dole, it’s an operations issue.
has been conducting research into We believe that a quality product is

56 ISO Management Systems – December 2001


produced in a quality way and we

strive to integrate consideration for
the environment into everything we
Founded in Hawaii in 1851, Dole
Food Co. Inc. is described as the
world’s largest producer and mar-
keter of high-quality fresh fruit, veg-
etables and fresh-cut flowers, with
over 60 000 employees, sales in more
than 90 countries and 1999 revenues
of USD 5,1 billion. The company has
been ranked as having the number
one environmental programme in the
food industry by the Council on
Economic Priorities, a non-profit
organization headquartered in New
York City that assesses Fortune 500
companies based on their corporate
social responsibility performance. Workers at Dole’s Bananito
handled by SGS International Certi- banana farm in Costa Rica
First ISO 14001-certified fication Services, Inc.2). where employee morale and
crop yields have risen due
banana-producing area to the success of its ISO
In June 1998, Dole’s Latin
The ISO 14001 programme 14001-based EMS programme.
American subsidiary, Standard Fruit “Certification to ISO 14001
Company de Costa Rica S.A., report- involves identification of each and
edly became the first major banana- every aspect of the operation that
producing area in the world to be cer- could have an environmental impact,
tified to ISO 14001. “Now, virtually ranking those impacts in priority
all of Dole’s interna- order and establish-
tional farming oper- ing procedures to
ations are certified We believe that a quality mitigate or eliminate
to ISO 14001 or will them, and training of
be by year-end 2001.
product is produced all employees in
This includes banana in a quality way environmental
and pineapple farms awareness, preven-
in all producing and we strive to integrate tion of pollution 1) Sharon Hayes, Director of
countries in Latin consideration for and safe practices,” Environmental Affairs, Dole Food
America: Costa Rica, explains Ms. Hayes. Company, Inc., P.O. Box 5132,
Honduras, Nicaragua, the environment into “In addition, the Westlake Village, CA 91359-5132,
Ecuador, Guatemala company must show USA.
everything we do
and Colombia, as evidence that it is Tel. + 1 818 879 6725.
well as other fruit in strict compliance Fax + 1 818 879 6613.
operations in Chile. It also includes with company policy and all applica- E-mail
our operations in Thailand, the ble laws and regulations. A third- Web
Philippines, Cameroon and the Ivory party, independent auditor certifies
Coast as well as production areas in the operations and returns every year 2) Greg Hansa, SGS International
to check evidence of continuous Certification Services, Inc.,
Europe. In addition, Americaflor,
Meadows Office Complex,
Dole’s fresh cut flower division, improvement in environmental per- 201 Route 17 North, Rutherford,
became the latest operation certified formance. Internal audits are usually NJ 07070, USA.
to ISO 14001,” confirms Sharon performed every three to six months
Tel. + 1 201 935 1500.
Hayes. as well.” Fax + 1 201 935 4555.
All ISO 14001 auditing and certifi- According to Ms. Hayes, Dole has E-mail
cation procedures at Dole farms were been able to reduce the amount of Web

ISO Management Systems – December 2001 57


crop protection products applied to ‘A solid return for Standard Fruit’

fruit and has installed water treat-
The article reports that the com-
ment and recycling systems that have
pany’s EMS provides assurance to
increased water conservation signifi-
its workers and clients that it han-
cantly, as a result of implementing
dles agrochemicals well. “This covers
ISO 14001. The company has also
the purchase, transportation, stor-
reforested thousands of acres of land,
age, handling and application of crop
and has implemented waste segrega-
protection products and the disposal
tion, recycling and composting sys-
of empty containers.” In conclusion,
tems for its solid waste and crop
the Costa Rican AmCham feature
states that Standard Fruit’s EMS “is
a vital element in the improvement
of its workers’ and families’ health
and in the minimization of the envi-
ronmental impact of its activities.
Furthermore, as employee morale
has risen due to the success of the
programme there has been a corre-
sponding increase in farm yields
which reinforces the EMS.
Investment in the EMS was initially
high but it has produced a solid
return for Standard Fruit.”

Standard Fruit Company de

Costa Rica S.A. (SFCOCR), Key benefits include strong
was the first major banana- employee motivation and loyalty
producing area in the world to which translates into reduced absen-
be certified to ISO 14001, teeism and improved productivity,
according to Dole Food Co. Inc.
Seen here (left to right) at she says. An article published in the
the ISO 14001 certification Costa Rica American Chamber of
ceremony are Commerce magazine describes the
Gregg Hansa, results of the EMS programme oper-
of SGS International ating at Dole’s Standard Fruit de
Certification Services, Inc.; Costa Rica subsidiary since 1991, cul-
Jürgen Schumacher,
minating in ISO 14001 implementa-
President of Dole Fresh Fruit
International Ltd.; tion and certification in 1998. It states
Samuel Yankelewitz, that ISO 14001 “was especially recog-
President of the Costa Rican nized for obtaining significant reduc-
Chamber of Commerce; tions in accidents and the resulting Investment in the EMS
Carlos Rodriguez, sick leave”, and describes EMS pro-
Minister of Environment and grammes as tools “to systematically was initially high
Energy for Costa Rica; and
Peter Gilmore, target and control levels of safety and but it has produced
General Manager of SFCOCR. occupational hygiene”.
a solid return

58 ISO Management Systems – December 2001