This was the principle on which James Drummond Dole founded the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1901. Today pineapples – together with bananas – are still part of Dole’s global core business. And James Dole’s philosophy is as valid today as it always was:
Our commitment to quality is backed by a wide range of measures to ensure product safety, strict quality control systems, state-of-the-art production and transportation technologies, continuous improvement through research and innovation, scientific crop protection procedures, and a genuine concern for employees, communities and the environment.
Corporate responsibility is a Dole Company value that drives us to do business with integrity and to respect not only our employees, but also their communities and the environment in which they work and live.
In 1998, Dole was the first agricultural company to have one of its divisions certified to ISO 14001, the internationally recognised environmental standard. In 2000, Dole was also the first agricultural company in the world to adopt and have one of its divisions certified to SA 8000, the social accountability standard developed by Social Accountability International.
Dole has developed a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility programme – from employee healthcare and clean, affordable water supplies to rural education programmes – and achieved many more certifications in the process.
To learn more about how we help the communities and environment in which we operate, we invite you to explore our Corporate Social Responsibility website www.dolecrs.com.
Our story started in 1851 in Hawaii with the establishment of Castle & Cooke. In 1899 James Dole arrived in Hawaii with $1000 in his pocket, a Harvard degree in business and horticulture and a love of farming. He began by growing pineapples. After harvesting the world’s sweetest, juiciest pineapples, he started shipping them back to mainland USA. To enable as many people as possible to enjoy this delicious fruit, he developed a technique for canning them. He wanted to make the sunshine and taste of Hawaiian pineapples available for everyone. This is how he built the Company: on a reputation of quality. And it remains true to this day.
Dole is now the world’s largest producer, distributor and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables. We are experts. It’s what we do, and we take great care to see that we do it well.
The DOLE name is known and trusted by millions of people around the world for product quality, taste and goodness, contributing to your health and wellbeing.
Our historic and iconic Dole canned pineapple was first enjoyed in Europe almost 50 years ago. Dole bananas followed, as we developed our fresh fruit range and added ripening and distribution facilities to ensure that our fruit arrives in perfect condition at the store.
Today we import a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables from both our own farms and some 7000 independent growers located all over the world. And our Packaged Foods business provides you with a growing line of innovative products, allowing you to enjoy fruit in more convenient formats!
The foundations of Dole Food Company, Inc. are laid as Samuel Castle and Amos Cooke, originally from Boston, set up their trading company in Hawaii.
Philipp Astheimer & Sohn is established in Hamburg, Germany. This company is now the basis for Dole’s European business.
James Drummond Dole comes to Hawaii, fresh out of Harvard's School of Horticulture & Agriculture.
James Dole begins growing pineapples in Wahiawa, on Oahu Island, Hawaii. He founds the Hawaiian Pineapple Company and starts to make the name of "Hawaii" synonymous with "pineapple". Dole makes his famous quality pledge: “We have built this company on quality, and quality, and quality”.
Dole moves his pineapple cannery to Honolulu and places advertisements in U.S. magazines to promote pineapple – one of the first nationwide consumer advertising campaigns in America.
A Dole engineer, Henry Ginaca, invents a machine that peels, cores and cuts pineapple at the speed of up to 100 pineapples per minute. The Ginaca is now an industry standard.
The Hawaiian Pineapple Company becomes Hawaii’s second largest industry.
Castle & Cooke acquires ownership of 21% of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company.
Recognizing the popularity and quality associated with James Dole's name, the company first stamps "DOLE" on cans of pineapple and pineapple juice.
Dole merges with Castle and Cooke and keeps the DOLE brand.
Dole Philippines, the pineapple-growing operations in the Philippines, is organised under the name Dolefil.
Castle & Cooke purchases a 55% interest in the Standard Fruit & Steamship Company, New Orleans, entering the banana business. It later acquires 100%.
Standard Fruit bananas adopt the DOLE® label, replacing the existing Cabana® label.
Castle & Cooke develops two large banana plantations on the coasts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Castle & Cooke banana operations become the leader in the North American market.
Philipp Astheimer & Sohn is acquired by Castle & Cooke.
Dole bananas are launched in Europe.
Castle & Cooke purchases Bud Antle, Inc., a vegetable company, and begins marketing vegetables from Dole.
The Dole product range in Europe is extended to include citrus and deciduous fruits.
The Dole logo is redesigned. The bright yellow sunburst is chosen, signifying freshness, quality, wholesomeness and good-tasting products.
Philipp Astheimer & Sohn marks its 125th anniversary. The company is renamed Dole Fresh Fruit Europe OHG.
Dole Fresh Vegetables division introduces a line of value-added packaged fresh vegetable products, which include pre-cut vegetables and salads. This soon becomes the fastest growing segment in supermarkets – the refrigerated, pre-cut vegetables and salad section – offering nutrition, good taste and convenience to consumers.
Castle & Cooke becomes the Dole Food Company, Inc.
Dole launches the "Dole 5 A Day Programme" to encourage young children and their families to eat five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Dole's global reach extends to more than 90 countries with a product line of over 170 fresh and packaged food products.
In July of 1998, Dole's banana operations in Costa Rica become the first banana exporter and the first agricultural producer in the world to become certified to the environmental management system requirements of ISO 14001. Dole's other divisions in Latin American and Asia follow in 1999.
Dole introduces Fruit Bowls®, the first all-natural fruit snack in a plastic cup. In mainland Europe they are known as Fruit Snacks.
Dole introduces organic bananas.
Dole's two newest container ships – the DOLE CHILE and the DOLE COLOMBIA – receive the "Winner for Innovation in Shipbuilding Containership" at the Lloyds List Awards.
Dole is taken private by Mr. D. H. Murdock.
Foundation of the Dole Nutrition Institute to "Feed the World with Knowledge" through research and education.
Foundations laid for California WellBeing Institute.
Dole acquires JR Woods (frozen fruits) in the US.
Acquisition of Coastal Berry Company LLC (leading producer of fresh California coastal strawberries and bushberries).
Completion of the acquisition of SABA Trading AB (Sweden).
Dole Food Company, Inc. is named to "World's Most Ethical Companies" list by Ethisphere Magazine.
Dole France, UK, Spain and Portugal are sold to Compagnie Fruitière, in which Dole has a 40% interest.
Dole acquires berry grower and marketer Sunny Ridge.
Dole acquires a 100% interest in Mrs. May’s Naturals.