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Dole Achieve Certification for High Performance in Water Management and Catchment

19.6.2020

Dole  announced recently  that 11 banana farms in Colombia and two in Ecuador have achieved certification to the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) International Water Stewardship Standard for taking water management to a higher level in Dole’s own farming and suppliers’ growing and sourcing operations.

The standard is intended to drive social, environmental and economic benefits at landscape level which encompasses all users of a particular water catchment, allowing them to better understand how their water use impacts others, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management.

In the recently released 2020 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report, Dole identified water conservation and optimization as the most relevant and impactful sustainable practice across its operations.

By adopting this water management standard, Dole and its growers continue to move progressively towards even more responsible water governance and mitigation of supply chain water challenges across banana operations. The knowledge and experience from these 13 farms will be shared across other Dole farming regions.

The achievement of the AWS certification is part of a multi-year collaboration program involving Dole and its growers along with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and food retailer EDEKA in Germany with the goal of driving sustainability in banana farms in Ecuador and Colombia. In addition to more sustainable water use, the program includes integrated crop cultivation management, conservation and promotion of ecosystems and biodiversity, climate protection, waste management and social aspects.

Xavier Roussel, Vice President of Marketing and Sustainability for Dole Food Company, stated, “In farming there has always been a mutual dependence between neighbors, but AWS took those relationships to a higher level by formally creating local water platforms which rely on the same water sources. It is important to think beyond the borders of our farms. Many sustainability issues with which we deal need more holistic solutions and tight local collaborations to deliver improvements for all.”

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