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Founded in Hawaii in 1851, Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2010 revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods, and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. The Company does business in more than 90 countries and employs, on average, 36,000 full-time, regular employees and 23,000 full-time seasonal or temporary employees, worldwide.
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DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. ANNOUNCES GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR WELLNESS CENTER, SPA AND HOTEL

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California - March 12, 2004

Dole Food Company, Inc. today announced that its affiliate, Westlake Wellbeing Properties, LLC, held the groundbreaking ceremony for an exciting, new wellbeing complex. The wellbeing complex will contain a highly innovative wellbeing center, medical facilities with physicians on site providing state-of-the-art diagnostic and outpatient recuperative services, a 267 room five star hotel, a full-service spa and fitness center, a conference center and an ultra-modern TV production facility, which will focus on health and wellbeing programming. It is projected that the complex will generate approximately 350 jobs, many of which will be professional and management positions. The new complex will be located on a 20-acre parcel of land, 35 miles northwest of Los Angeles in Westlake Village. The site adjoins Dole's corporate headquarters. It is anticipated that construction of the complex will be completed in December 2005.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was the featured speaker at the groundbreaking. Governor Schwarzenegger stated: "It is gratifying to see a California-based company investing in the future of our State by creating and expanding its business and adding jobs to the economy. This new complex will not only contribute to California's economy but also educate people on nutrition and the benefits of healthy eating and healthy living."

David H. Murdock, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dole stated: "It has long been my belief that Dole and its affiliated companies can play a crucial role in helping consumers eat healthier and thus lead longer, healthier and more vital lives. This new complex will be a major step forward in accomplishing this goal."

WellPoint Health Networks Inc., the nation's second largest health insurer, is participating, through its subsidiary, Arcus Enterprises, Inc., in the development and operation of the wellbeing center, which will be a major component of the new complex.

"WellPoint's involvement in this project marks an important addition to its series of health improvement, disease management and wellness programs," said Leonard D. Schaeffer, WellPoint's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "WellPoint is committed to help identify and utilize the evolving science base for the center's guests and visitors."

This unique wellbeing center will pioneer interactive information systems designed to benefit quality of life through a variety of self-improvement programs and products. Programs designed to promote health and longevity will be specifically created for guests to follow during their visits to the wellbeing center.

The California Health and Longevity Institute will operate the top-drawer medical facilities, which will have on-site physicians providing state-of-the-art diagnostic and outpatient recuperative services. In addition to the most modern MRI, CT and other body-scan imaging equipment, the medical facility will employ diagnostic methodologies based on cutting edge research in human genetics. The world-class laboratories and research facilities in the Dole headquarters building will be used to develop educational programs and other services. The ultra-modern television production facility will be used in developing and offering cable television programs and videos that teach people how to eat well and the role that good food, nutrition and exercise play in living a long, healthy and productive life. 

The new complex will also feature a luxurious 267 room five star luxury hotel, full-service spa and fitness center and conference center. The health spa will contain men's and women's therapy facilities and a variety of treatment rooms, with private gardens and spas. The conference center will include meeting rooms and a grand ballroom, with the most up-to-date conferencing capabilities. More than nine acres of luxuriant gardens will surround the new complex, and include walking/jogging paths, a waterfall and a unique outdoor function area. The components of the complex have each been designed to work together to enhance and promote the wellbeing experience to be offered at the complex.

In addition to the complex in Westlake Village, it is anticipated that a wellbeing center, including medical facilities offering state-of-the-art diagnostic and outpatient recuperative services, will be developed at the Manele Bay Hotel on the Island of Lana'i, Hawaii. The Island of Lana'i and the Manele Bay Hotel are owned by an affiliate of Dole.

Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2002 revenues of $4.4 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers, markets a growing line of packaged foods 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; electrical power supply 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.