Dole New Zealand is reinforcing its commitment to responsible principles across its operations with the announcement of a significant investment in consumer education, and a New Zealand first sustainability campaign.
On the back of its existing partnership with the global non-governmental organisation Rainforest Alliance, all Dole fresh pineapples sold in New Zealand now feature the Rainforest Alliance Certifiedᵀᴹ seal.
Additionally, Dole is spearheading the #followthefrog sustainability campaign locally, which focuses on helping consumers by making it easier to choose responsibly sourced goods.
The environment is an essential factor not only in the production of quality fruit, but also for the long-term wellbeing of flora, fauna, people and the planet, says Dole general manager, Steve Barton.
“Dole is committed to excellence across our operations, with a sharp focus on sustainability, employee wellbeing and products that meet stringent health, safety and environmental standards.”
“Our association with the Rainforest Alliance demonstrates this commitment; from February 2017 every Dole pineapple in New Zealand will carry certification of the efforts we take to produce responsibly, says Dole Marketing Executive, Kamilla Camilo”
Dole Pineapples first gained Rainforest Alliance certification in 2015 in the Philippines, and the company is currently working to gain the same recognition for its bananas.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal features a frog because the amphibians are ‘indicator species’, explains Stuart Singleton-White, Director, External Communications at the Rainforest Alliance. Their presence in areas of agricultural activity is a symbol of environmental health, and frogs are found on every continent except Antarctica.
“We are delighted that Dole has this commitment to source its pineapples from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. When consumers buy a product carrying our green frog seal they are joining us in helping farmers, farm workers and farming communities to protect the environment, to secure a better living, and to build a better future for themselves and their families,” says Singleton-White.
The global #followthefrog campaign helps to raise awareness of the ways consumers can support positive environmental and social benefits in the part of the world their food is grown. In a New Zealand first, Dole is proud to bring it to these clean and green shores.
The company is the only brand in this country introducing the campaign, joining other leading organisations in America and the United Kingdom in raising awareness of sustainable choices.
Coinciding with #followthefrog, Dole has created a six-month campaign that commenced 30 January, with consumer and education on food waste and sustainability. This comes on the back of an existing commitment Dole has made to educate consumers about waste and sustainability, says Camilo.
“Alongside other well-known NZ brands, we are working with the Sustainability Business Network to research solutions to Auckland’s current industrial food waste situation,” she notes.
Recognising the issue and the value of any solutions which may come from the initiative, Auckland City Council has committed to the project, approving a $10 000 grant.
“Dole exists to produce fruit of the highest quality, but never at the expense of the environment. From the farm, all the way to the point of consumption and beyond, we are committed to sustainable, environmentally friendly practices for today and for tomorrow,” says Barton.
Help spread the word and Follow the Frog by choosing sustainable products. Visit Dole’s Facebook page, and #FollowTheFrog to stay informed about upcoming activity in NZ.
For more on #followthefrog, click the video below!