DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. ANNOUNCES LABOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACCORD WITH COORDINATOR OF BANANA UNIONS OF COSTA RICA (COSIBA)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - April 02, 2007
Standard Fruit Company of Costa Rica, Inc. a division of Dole Food Company, Inc. and the Coordinator of Banana Unions of Costa Rica (COSIBA) announced today an agreement that reaffirms Dole's commitment to labor, strengthens mutual trust between parties and furthers the company's long standing commitment to sound environmental practices.
"This event is another step forward in our commitment as a good citizen of Costa Rica," said Danilo Roman, general manger, Standard Fruit Company of Costa Rica. "This agreement between Dole and COSIBA further demonstrates our company's commitment to corporate and social responsibility, transparency and open communication among parties."
"For COSIBA-CR and COLSIBA, the signing of this framework agreement with Dole in Costa Rica represents an opportunity to continue improving the mutually beneficial relationship between the parties, for the benefit of the workers and that of the country," said Gilberth BermÃºdez UmaÃ±a of COSIBA. "It gives us the opportunity to build trust, as well as take advantage of the opportunities that globalization offers in the present international economic context."
The new agreement was ratified by Standard Fruit Company of Costa Rica, Inc. a division of Dole Food Company, Inc. and COSIBA on Tuesday, March 27, 2007, in San JosÃ©, Costa Rica. Signatories included Jorge Luis Viquez MÃ©ndez, Juan Carlos Rojas ZeledÃ³n and Danilo Roman of Standard Fruit Company of Costa Rica, and RamÃ³n Barrantes Cascante, Gilberth BermÃºdez UmaÃ±a, Jorge Luis Barboza JimÃ©nez, and RenÃ© GarcÃa Miranda of COSIBA. Observers included: Sue Hagen, Dole Food Company, Inc., German Zepeda, COLSIBA and Magne Svartbekk of Bama.
Conditions of the newly reached agreement include:
. Dole and COSIBA reaffirmed their commitment to resolve disputes quickly and adopt established protocols for the sake of not affecting the mutual interests cited in this agreement.
. Dole and COSIBA will support a continuous open dialogue, which includes developing a member committee to ensure the terms of the agreement are met.
. Dole will maintain its neutral position with respect to the decision of its workers to organize and belong to an organization of their preference.
. The agreement establishes best practices protocol for investigating labor-related claims focusing on independent farms.
. Dole will continue to strengthen its already robust, long standing commitment to comply with local and international environmental legislation that governs its operations in Costa Rica. In addition, Dole considers it a priority to focus on the following programs: liquid and solid waste management, management of agrochemicals and all potentially hazardous substances, as well as protection of water and forests.
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.