Dole Asia appoints Unilever exec as head of agrifoodtech arm

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Dole Asia appoints Unilever exec as head of agrifoodtech arm

Dole Asia Holdings, one of the region's biggest fruit distributors, has appointed Barbara Guerpillon as Head of Dole Ventures across both packaged foods and its fresh businesses.

Guerpillon, who is a former executive of Unilever Foundry and is based in Singapore, will be spearheading the company’s business growth through startup-led innovations and the creation of global entrepreneurial networks, according to a statement.

Pier Luigi Sigismondi, President of Dole Packaged Foods, says Guerpillon's talent and experience will bring a significant boost to Dole's drive to transform its business in line with The Dole Promise.

"We have given ourselves five years to deliver on our ambitious goals. These include providing sustainable nutrition for a billion people, the elimination of processed sugar from our products, zero fruit loss from our farms, zero emissions and zero fossil-based packaging."

Christian Wiegele, President Dole Asia Fresh, said: "This is an important appointment across both our Fresh and Packaged businesses, reflecting our ambition to partner with innovators, and to open up opportunities for immense evolution as we find significant ways to continue to make our business a force for good.

"One of the venture spaces I am personally excited about is Agri-tech, which I believe can significantly contribute to The Dole Promise we made earlier this year."

Guerpillon brings a track record with the Unilever Foundry, which connected corporate innovation, entrepreneurship and technology to accelerate innovation and effectively pilot new technologies and product innovations.

During her tenure she delivered 120 projects with start-ups resulting in 25 pilots including nine product innovations, three retail Innovations and four direct-to-consumer pilots.

"Our message is simple. We believe in the power of partnerships and we are seriously in the place of working with start-ups to live up to our Promise. I agree the goals are ambitious, but I have yet to meet leaders who lacked ambition," Guerpillon said.

"We bring decades of experience in food production, nutritional science, packaging, supply chain logistics and fast-moving consumer goods, so our ability to fund, run and evaluate pilots will, I believe, be very attractive to the rising generations of smart thinkers." said Ms Guerpillon

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