Dole Food Co., Westlake Village, Calif., is introducing a new system to reduce the environmental impacts of its banana harvesting and packing through its Standard Fruit de Costa Rica division.

Dole reducing water use in banana operations

The system, called the New Millennium Packing System, developed last year, targets reducing water use by a factor of 10 and energy use by 50%, compared to a traditional packing plant, which requires high water usage when prepping bananas for shipment, according to a news release.

The new packing system is also in use at a Dole operation in Honduras and will be started at another Costa Rican farm by the end of the year, according to the release. Harvesting has been changed to allow for banana packing to be done closer to the field, cutting in half the work done at the packing locations to prepare bananas thereby reducing water and energy use, according to the release.