Dole Food Company

Dole is one of the world’s largest producer, distributor and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables. We are experts. It’s what we do, and we take great care to see that we do it well. 

Our story started in 1851 in Hawaii with the establishment of Castle & Cooke.

In 1899 James Dole arrived in Hawaii with $1000 in his pocket, a Harvard degree in business and horticulture and a love of farming. He began by growing pineapples. After harvesting the world’s sweetest, juiciest pineapples, he started shipping them back to mainland USA.

In 1911 a Dole engineer, Henry Ginaca, invents a machine that peels, cores and cuts pineapple at the speed of up to 100 pineapples per minute. The Ginaca is now an industry standard.

The DOLE name is known and trusted by millions of people around the world for product quality, taste and goodness, contributing to your health and wellbeing.  In 1933 recognizing the popularity and quality associated with James Dole's name, the company first stamps "DOLE" on cans of pineapple and pineapple juice.

In 1943, Lester V. "Bud" Antle founded a produce packing and shipping company in the Pajaro Valley in Central California, naming it BUD Antle. You still see the BUD logo on many of the commodity Dole Fresh Vegetables product cartons. 

Castle & Cooke develops two large banana plantations on the coasts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in 1973. Castle & Cooke banana operations become the leader in the North American market.

In 1978 Dole bananas are launched in Europe.

Dole Fresh Vegetables division introduces a line of value-added packaged fresh vegetable products in 1990, which include pre-cut vegetables and salads. This soon becomes the fastest growing segment in supermarkets – the refrigerated, pre-cut vegetables and salad section – offering nutrition, good taste and convenience to consumers.

1993 marked the 50thanniversary of Dole Fresh Vegetable divison business operations, and groundbreaking for the new Soledad, California salad processing facility. 

The bagged salad concept revolutionized the produce category, and by 1997, Dole Fresh Vegetables was opening a third value-added salad processing facility, this one in Springfield, Ohio!. 

Dole is taken private by Mr. D. H. Murdock in 2003 and the foundation of the Dole Nutrition Institute to "Feed the World with Knowledge" through research and education starts.

In 2004, Dole Fresh Vegetables divison acquired Coastal Berry Company, renaming it Dole Berry Company. The next year, 2005, Dole Berry Company introduced a new strawberry variety called Albion, unique in that it grows best when the day length is long and it is quite disease resistant. 

In 2010, Dole Fresh Vegetables introduced a solar-powered strawberry harvest machine which significantly improved our harvest productivity. And by being solar powered, our carbon footprint, fuel and maintenance costs have been minimized! All value added plants received SQF (Safe Quality Food) 2000 level 2 certification. 

SunnyRidge Farms was the big news, as in 2011 we acquired this major grower, shipper and marketer of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries with operations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Mexico and Chile.

In 2012 Dole acquires a 100% interest in Mrs. May’s Naturals.

Dole completes sale of Worldwide Packaged Foods and Asia Fresh Businesses to Itochu in 2013.

Today we import a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables from both our own farms and some 7000 independent growers located all over the world.


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