Global Processing

Dole Introduces Packing Process Which Reduces Water Usage

March 22, 2010
According to Business Wire, Dole Food Company, Inc. has announced that the company’s division Standard Fruit de Costa Rica has introduced a new system that will dramatically reduce the environmental impact of its banana harvesting and packing operations. The innovative process, called the New Millennium Packing System, specifically targets reducing the use of water by a factor of 10 and energy use by 50 percent, compared to a traditional packing plant. This new system is especially significant due to the fact that the banana packing process requires extensive water use, in particular for holding fruit prior to selection and providing a residence time for latex removal. In 2009, Standard Fruit de Costa Rica embarked on a complete redesign of its banana harvesting and packing process in order to substantially reduce water and energy use. The renovation began with a holistic analysis of the flow of bananas from field to packing. The harvesting and product selection process were substantially revamped allowing many of the packing tasks to be done closer to the field. As a result, by the time the fruit reaches the packing location, approximately half the activities required to prepare the bananas for packing have already occurred. This dramatically reduces the need for water and energy.