Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dole Launches Rainforest Alliance Bananas

Dole Food Company, the world’s biggest fruit producer, is now selling Rainforest Alliance Certified bananas.

The bananas are grown in Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, which meet the standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), a coalition of leading conservation groups. The standards include metrics on water and soil conservation and wildlife protection, along with labor and community standards.

Dole says the certified bananas will be sold at select retailers throughout the U.S.

“Being able to add the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal to our bananas is a great reminder to our customers of Dole’s commitment to environmental stewardship and the well-being of farm workers,” said Mike Cavallero, president of Dole’s North American tropical and fresh fruit division.

The Rainforest Alliance offers certifications for agriculture, forestry, tourism and forest carbon. Farms seeking the Rainforest Alliance seal must be audited by certification body Sustainable Farm Certification, which follows SAN standards.

The program operates in 25 tropical countries and covers over 100 crops. The Rainforest Alliance seal is used by companies including Kraft, Mars and McDonald’s.

In 2008 Dole announced that its operating division in Costa Rica would purchase enough carbon offsets from the Costa Rican government to equal the emissions from the inland transport of its bananas and pineapples.


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