• Dole's Organic Program
    Dole's Organic Program
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    Organic Program
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Why Organic?

Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system

Dole has taken the lead on Certified Organic pineapple's and banana's production, providing the customer with alternatives to choose organic production; which causes a responsible and positive impact in the local communities, biodiversity, soil conservation and green house gas emission reduction.

Organic bananasAll this management practices restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony, and as a conscious consumer your business decisions and the ones from many others will impact directly in a better and more nutritious world to live in.
You are invited, to learn and lead with us the change. Welcome the Dole Organic Program site.

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Globally OrganicYou will find our Dole Organic high quality standard products distributed throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Japan.

100% of Dole's organic pineapples and bananas are certified organic, following the organic production standards as set by law in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and Korea; as well as the standards applicable to the country of origin.

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Organic pinappleProducts that are Fair Trade certified guarantee that a fair price is going to be paid for the grower and/or worker's products. It is not just fair, it is also a boost for development in communities that need investment focused on promoting better life conditions. By purchasing a Fair Trade labeled product the consumer collaborates with a prime that is separately paid for every box. This amount is going to be managed and invested in projects for development of their communities. Fair Trade auditors review and validate throughout the logistics chain that all transactions of the fruit are accountable and transparent. Schools, sport facilities, parks, trainings, and technology investments are part of the list of projects that are a reality thanks to you purchases with a fair trade label.

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CO2 Neutral CertificateThe Dole Organic Website is Carbon Neutral. The Carbon Emissions from the website users are compensated through programs that fund Clean Energy, Rain-forest conservation projects, and related environmental efforts.

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Countries

Discover our global presence

Costa Rica


Local conditions as rich and deep soils, no high variations in day and night temperature and around the year, good combination of sun hours and rain precipitation makes the northern region of Costa Rica a perfect place to grow organic pineapples.

Colombia


On the Northern Coast of Colombia towards the Guajira desert, C.I. Técnicas Baltime de Colombia S.A. purchases fruit from several independent organic banana growers. This region is an excellent location to supply the European and US East Coast markets.

Peru


In Sullana, Northern Peru, we purchase organic bananas from over 1600 very small growers organized in Associations. This unique project was initially set up by the Ministry of Agriculture and was guided by Dole to achieve the first organic banana exports.

Ecuador


Ecuador is the largest organic banana supplier for Dole's Organic Program in Latin America. Independent growers as well as Dole's own farm supplies the organic fruit to Dole Ecuador also known as UBESA.

Mexico


The organic bananas from this country come from Colima, near the Pacific shore of México. In this place the best conditions are met to grow delicious organic tropical fruits. This is the newest country in our organic program.
Learn more

In this section we add the most common questions made in reference to Organic Products and Certification

What is Organic Agriculture?
The USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) defines organic agriculture as "an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain, or enhance ecological harmony. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people." (NOSB, 1997).
“Organic agriculture, as defined by IFOAM, includes all agricultural systems that promote environmentally, socially and economically sound production of food and fibers. Recycling nutrients and strengthening natural processes helps to maintain soil fertility and ensure successful production. By respecting the natural capacity of plants, animals and the landscape, it aims to optimize quality in all aspects of agriculture and the environment. OA dramatically reduces external inputs by refraining from the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, Genetically Modified Organisms and pharmaceuticals. Pests and diseases are controlled with naturally occurring means and substances according to both traditional as well as modern scientific knowledge, increasing both agricultural yields and disease resistance. OA adheres to globally accepted principles, which are implemented within local socio-economic, climatic and cultural settings.
How is the Organic Integrity of a farm or an operation controlled?
A third party Accredited Certification entity visits the farm or the operation at least once a year and verifies the fulfillment of the operation or farm with the applicable organic standards.
How do Organic Farms Control Pests?
As it states in its definition, the primary goal of the organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of plants. A good plant nutrition program is the baseline for good pest control. A strong and healthy plant will perform better against diseases, insects and/or weeds.
If necessary, mechanical and physical controls can take place to fight against a pest. Some natural and/or mineral substances are allowed in section 601 of the 7 CFR Part 205 to be applied to the plants to protect them.
How do Organic Farms handle Plant Nutrition?
As all plants, organic crops need an appropriated proportion of minerals and a helathy soil for a good growth and development.
Soil and tissue lab analysis are needed to determinate the necessary amount of each element (mineral) for the plant.
Natural and mineral sources are allowed in organic fertilization when:
How can we recognize the organic products at the retail store and/or supermarket?
The 7 CFR Part 205 in section 311 of the Federal Register shows the logo that the organic products produced according to the Organic Rule, can exhibit in their packaging or labels.
Through this logo, organic products can be recognized as organically certified.
What does the three digit code on the Dole Organic Bananas stand for?
These three digits are called Dole Producer Code (DPC). The DPC identifies an organic producer or a group of small organic producers. By the use of the DPC on the fruit’s sticker, the bananas can be identified at the retail store even when they are taken out of the carton box.
By entering the three digit code in the doleorganic.com website, the origin of the fruit can be obtained. There is a page for each organic producer or group of small organic producers, with pictures, general information and a link to access the satellite image of the farm with the use of Google Maps. The organic certificates of each operation are also posted.
Is there a difference in terms of flavor between and organic fruit and a conventional fruit?
Some people do feel that there is a difference as they have let us know through the feedback section of our website, please take a look to the comments received from our consumers here.
Why is ethylene approved for ripening organic bananas?
Ethylene is a natural occurring gas and its synthetic version is identical. Ethylene is approved by the organic regulations in North America, Canada, The European Community and Japan. Ethylene when injected in a ripening chamber with pallets of green bananas will trigger the ripening process of the bananas. It can be considered artificial only in the sense that the bananas which are harvested young and thus green are put in contact with the gas by men in a chamber. The process itself and resulting transformation of starch in to sugars is exactly the same as in nature. If bananas would be harvested ripe from the tree and thus yellow they would not be able to travel to the markets without rotting and becoming puree during the journey, attract fruit flies, become vinegar, etc.
Why are some of our organic products sold in plastic bags?
As a socially and environmentally conscious company we have long been proactive in addressing and striving to gain improvements to the current packaging of organic bananas in plastic bags. This is a method Dole recognizes as costly, cumbersome, and increasing our carbon footprint. Organic bananas are packed in plastic bags at the request of the retailer.
Many retailers prefer to merchandise organic bananas in plastic bags so that they can be clearly distinguished from conventionally grown bananas and ensure that the consumer purchases the product at the correct price. Additionally, some supermarkets also prefer the plastic bags to guarantee the organic integrity of the product. The organic claim is, in fact, about how the product is grown, however, supermarkets are responsible for maintaining separation of organic from conventional fruit in order to avoid cross-contamination. Violation of the regulations in place to safeguard this issue can result in stiff fines to the retailer.
While the use of plastic bags can appear contradictory to the organic intention, it occurs, unfortunately, at the request of the resellers.
Dole has introduced tape bands that make it easier for the cashier to notice when an item is organic as a way to eliminate the use of plastic bags. Dole is also a proponent of the GS1 Databar which is a scannable barcode that fits on produce stickers. The databar is scanned at the register to identify the product and correctly price the item, so that the cashier does not need to key in any codes. Dole encourages its retail customers to use the GS1 Databar to eliminate the need for plastic bags.
In our goal of minimizing the impact on the environment, the bags are recyclable and we are in the process of launching our degradable bags using the d2w technology.
What are the charity programs that the DALE Foundation does in the communities with grower groups?
This is a program which compares very favorable with other social programs in the industry. Further information about Dole Social Responsibility can be found at DoleCSR.com
Why are the organic pineapples green from the outside but good tasting on the inside?
Because in organic we can not use ethephon to ‘yellow-up’ the pineapples just before harvest.
Why is a percentage of the organic banana clusters at the supermarket display somewhat smaller than conventional bananas?
Because in organic no synthetic fertilizers to boost growth are used.
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