Dole: How to marry sustainability with profitability

This is how Dole Packaged Foods is marrying sustainability with profitability - report

This is how Dole Packaged Foods is marrying sustainability with profitability - report

In the food industry, it is becoming increasingly unsustainable not to be sustainable.

While the concept of sustainability is multifaceted, with applications from farm to fork, consumer demands for more transparency around the ethical, environmental, and health facets of food production have caused many food companies to reassess their operations. Sustainability has transitioned from corporate social responsibility to an integral part of business, driving market share and growth.

The 120-year old Dole Sunshine Company (which is also known as Dole Packaged Foods and a different company to Dole plc), one of the world’s largest producers of fresh fruits and vegetables, believes that sustainable solutions to global problems will require commitments and innovation from private companies and is transforming its business practices to be more in keeping with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Dole is basing its mission on “Sampo Yochi,” a Japanese philosophy in which businesses operate for the good of the seller, the buyer and society.

In August, the company released its Sunshine for All™ Progress Report, tracking its commitment towards the “Dole Promise” of increasing access to sustainable nutrition, decreasing food waste, reducing plastics in packaging, lowering carbon emissions, and growing value for stakeholders.

“This is more than just a social purpose campaign,” says Dr. Lara Ramdin, Dole’s Chief Innovation Officer, who was hired to help strengthen the company's innovation capabilities towards the new mission. “This promise is bigger than ourselves.”

And for a company that operates in seventy countries and earns $2.6 billion in annual revenue, “the Dole Promise” has the potential to be globally transformative.

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