At a corporate responsibility forum in Guatemala on Sept. 8, Dole Food president and chief executive officer David DeLorenzo reaffirmed the companyâs commitment to environmental and social accountability.
âCentral America is a region in which weâve been particularly active,â he said, âwhether it is by building up the regional economy through infrastructure investment, creating local jobs, developing community programs or partnering with local growers to implement sustainable agricultural programs.â
DeLorenzo spoke to about 560 local stakeholders attending the Center for Implementing Corporate Social Responsibility â or CentraRSE â forum in Guatemala City. Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom opened the forum.
Doleâs North American Tropical Fresh Fruit Division sources all of its bananas and most of its pineapples in Central America, said Bil Goldfield, communications manager for the division. Dole is one of more than 100 CentraRSE members. Together they generate about 30% of Guatemalaâs gross domestic product.
âFor us thereâs no seam between what we do and sustainability and corporate responsibility,â Goldfield said. âItâs part of our companyâs DNA.â
The forum session with DeLorenzo focused on âcompanies as actors for change,â as the CEO spoke of Doleâs âthree pillarsâ of sustainability: carbon footprint, water use and soil conservation.
Dole also tries to engage regional partners to benefit its Central American work force through the companyâs participation in the World Banana Forum. The WBF promotes open dialogue on challenges facing the banana industry. Participants include standard-setting organizations, trade unions, and governmental and nongovernmental organizations.