Dole Plans to be Zero Waste by 2025

The company is looking for new ways to repurpose fruit waste

Jul 15, 2020

What comes to mind when you think of Dole? Most people think of ripe delicious bananas, delicious juicy pineapples, and other produce. Dole’s fresh and canned fruits have been a household staple for generations.

But most people don’t think about the waste that goes hand-in-hand with food production. Every year, according to Fast Company, Dole grows billions of bananas but not all of it ends up on people’s tables. Some of it gets lost in transit or production. Now, the company wants to eliminate these food losses by 2025.

On June 30, 2020, the company announced “The Dole Promise” that aims to increase sustainable nutrition to provide for 1 billion additional people, go to zero fruit loss, as well as eliminate fossil fuel-based plastic packaging by 2025

“The Dole Promise reflects the recognition that 'business as usual' is unacceptable in the face of a looming food crisis and the growing expectations of the next generation," said Pier Luigi Sigismondi, president of Dole Packaged Foods in a company press release on Businesswire.

Sigismondisaid that the growing food inequality has reached crisis proportions due to the Coronavirus pandemic and needs a collective response to deal with it.

“Our promise is not just about improving our world today,” he said. "We have a responsibility to future generations to work towards a more equitable and sustainable future.”

The company is now researching ways to repurpose banana leaves and pineapple skins into product packaging as well as developing new snacks from misshapen ugly fruit according to Fast Company. Some companies like Imperfect foods are already starting to sell the less than perfect fruits from Dole.

Dole is also looking into ways to upcycle fruits that cannot be sold into snacks, drinks, and nonfood items like cosmetics and skin care. After all, natural products are better.

Another way of repurposing the food waste will be to convert it into biogas to power the company’s processing plants. Company officials plan on reusing every part of the fruits so that there is no longer any waste.

While these measures will not completely eliminate waste, the company said they cannot address the waste that happens in stores and homes, changing the supply chain between fields to grocery stores will certainly help.

 “The next generation is right to question why we have left problems like climate change for so long. There are intergenerational repercussions. That is why we are increasing our efforts in key areas like reducing carbon emissions and working towards removing plastic packaging from our supply chain. Our promise puts the heart of the planet and people at the center of everything we do,” said Sigismondi in the press release.

If Dole, one of the world’s largest fruit producers can make this promise, other food companies can too. Hopefully these sustainable practices will become the new food industry standards.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.