The American-Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) recognized Dole through its daughter company, Standard Fruit Company de Costa Rica S.A., with the Social Responsibility in Action Award in the Employees Category for their project "De la Mano con Dole" — which loosely translates to "Hand-in-Hand with Dole". This year marks the 25th anniversary of the award which was given December 8, 2021.
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From left: Sandra Lima, Dole Corporate Social Responsibility Senior Manager; Steve Aronson, Horizonte Positivo Board Member; Ana Cristina Obregón, Dole Logistics & Planning Senior Director; Renato Acuña, President of Dole Fresh Fruit Latin America; Gisela Sánchez, AmCham Board President; and Marco Tulio Escobedo, Dole Human Resources Director (Photo: Business Wire)
The Hand-in-Hand with Dole project is an initiative that works towards positively impacting the social development of Standard Fruit Company of Costa Rica (aka Dole Costa Rica) employees and their families, using the Business Multidimensional Business Index (bMPI) methodology developed by the University of Oxford.
The bMPI methodology seeks to measure poverty—not only from the traditional way of per capita income—but also by incorporating dimensions such as, access to health, education, housing, work, social protection and 16 other key indicators. This allows the organization to identify gaps in social programs and work towards solving the multidimensional poverty issues confronted by their employees and their relatives.
Dole is the first agribusiness company in the world to apply the bMPI methodology to address the challenges of social development.
During the diagnostic stage of implementation, Dole Costa Rica achieved a participation rate of 87% in response to socioeconomic surveys among its more than 5300 employees, ranking near the highest level of participation among the companies that have applied the method in the country.
Analysis of the discovered “deficiencies” refocused short-term priorities of the company towards the prevention of disease and the health of our employees at the onset of Covid, to longer term strategies of social protection and health. At the end of September 2021, 500 gaps had been closed.
“We are very proud of being the first banana and pineapple producer to implement this system and seeing such positive results for our employees and families here in Costa Rica,” said Mr. Renato Acuña, President of Dole Fresh Fruit Latin America. “The strategies developed in this program, including social counseling and community care projects, seek to meet needs and provide the necessary capacities for better human development.”
For this project, Dole management has prioritized addressing the following needs: people without health insurance; people with disabilities not receiving state assistance; older adults without a pension, people out of the workforce due to family obligations; and households without drinking water.
In applying findings, Dole has established strategic alliances with Horizonte Positivo, a local NGO that leads the implementation of bMPI in Costa Rica, and with Sophia Oxford, an international non-profit organization that seeks to impact the social investment of companies and the lives of their employees. These third-party interpretations and analyses of results, and the proposal of solutions that can positively affect the reduction of multidimensional poverty, are essential to best practices in solution implementation.
In 2020, Dole introduced its three-pillared Sustainability Framework, The Dole Way, and its ongoing commitment For Food, For Nature and For People. Just as Dole Costa Rica was a pioneer more than 20 years ago in the development of global environmental management systems in agriculture to frame its efforts 'For Nature'; at the beginning of this decade the company intends through this project, to innovate in the establishment of a social development platform focused on its most important resource: 'For People'."
Dole plc is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole is an industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in nutrition education and research. For more information, please visit www.dole.com or www.doleplc.com.
US Contact: William Goldfield