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Dole pineapples group honored for social responsibility

Dole’s pineapple operations in Costa Rica S.A. were recognized by The American-Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce with the Social Responsibility in Action Award in the employees category for its project Information and Wellbeing Centers.

In the designation AmCham further distinguished this project as the overall Grand Winner among over 40 submittals, which entered the chamber’s Corporate Social Responsibility event. This year marks the 26th anniversary of the award and the first year when a Grand Winner was selected among all proposals.

The Information and Wellbeing Centers is an integrated initiative that works toward positively impacting the lives of farm employees and families by providing support and access to information from over thirty public and private organizations that interact with citizens daily.

The concept was developed through a diagnosis to understand the major needs that the Dole rural workforce has and how the company could assist in better fulfilling these needs. A myriad of paperwork and processes that workers and families are confronted with — and have difficulty resolving — or result in lost opportunities, were identified. Frequently, dealing with bureaucracy also results in lost time and revenue, increased expenses, long distance travel, and diminished livelihoods, particularly in rural areas that have limited public and private services.

In practical terms, the Information Centers allow Dole workers to access services for themselves or direct family members to resolve issues linked to their social benefits, residence, personal finance and much more. Those issues would be difficult or too costly to solve by themselves.

Dole is among the first businesses in the country to offer this free service to its farm employees directly at the workplace. The Information and Wellbeing Center is a resource at the hands of 3,300 workers and their families, which promotes personal and family development, a sense of belonging and motivation.

“We are extremely proud to receive two awards at this prestigious social responsibility event. The designation as Grand Winner among so many fine examples of social responsibility in Costa Rica is a testament to the team effort required to conceive and build these Centers for our farm employees,” said Renieri Nuñez, vice president of pineapple operations for Latin America. “There is no doubt that when efforts are focused on the person, our major company asset, results can be amazing. This started as an idea to solve paperwork problems and has turned out to be the most significant step in motivating employees at all levels in our organization and producing tangible results in the lives of our families.”

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