WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California — June 14, 2007 — Dole Food Company, Inc today announced that it has been commended by the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the Business Excellence on Tuberculosis category for its work to combat the disease in the Philippines. The commendation was presented Wednesday, June 13 during the 6th Annual GBC Awards for Business Excellence Gala at which President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker.
Now in its third year, the Dole TB-DOTS initiative seeks to raise awareness among employees and their communities, correct misconceptions about the disease, reduce stigma, and treat those inflicted with the disease.
“We are honored to be recognized by the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS for Dole’s efforts to bring relief to those suffering from TB in the Philippines,” said David DeLorenzo, president and chief executive officer of Dole Food Company. “Our company continues to be committed to improving the lives, health and economic opportunities of our employees and the communities in which the company operates.”
TB-DOTS, which stands for Tuberculosis Directly Observed Treatment Short-course, is a highly effective strategy recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Philippines’ Department of Health to ensure the treatment and cure of patients affected by TB. The program has five core components: 1) Political or management commitment; 2) TB diagnosis through sputum microscopy; 3) Availability of complete and quality anti-TB drugs; 4) Supervised treatment and 5) Recording and reporting of cases and outcomes.
Tuberculosis is a curable disease but remains one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines. Seventy-five Filipinos die of TB every day, most of them in the wage-earning years of their lives. If untreated, a person with TB can transmit the bacteria to 10 to 15 close contacts in a year, wherein one can develop the infection into TB disease.
Background on the Dole (Stanfilco and Dolefil Divisions) Philippines TB-DOTS Program
To date, one thousand people have been trained by Dole to be TB-DOTS educators and advocates including company nurses, associates and doctors. As a result of our efforts, about 100 cases have been successfully treated.
Stanfilco was the first company in Mindanao to formally implement a TB-DOTS program and comply with the newly-signed Department of Labor and Employment guidelines on TB in the workplace, followed closely by Dolefil. Since the program’s inception in 2004, Stanfilco has educated over 3,000 employees, their families and the surrounding communities on TB awareness. At present, Stanfilco is working towards gaining accreditation for its clinics as TB-DOTS centers so they are able to obtain free medicines from the government for their TB patients.
Dolefil, who prior to the formal TB-DOTS program has long promoted a TB-free workplace, has been able to identify and assist 70 employees inflicted with the disease. Of the 70 employees, 39 have made a fully recovery and 31 employees are still undergoing treatment.
About Dole Food Company, Inc.
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2006 revenues of $6.2 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
This release contains “forward-looking statements,” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward looking statements, which are based on management’s current expectations, are generally identifiable by the use of terms such as “may,” “will,” “expects,” “believes,” “intends” and similar expressions. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein include weather-related phenomena; market responses to industry volume pressures; product and raw materials supplies and pricing; changes in interest and currency exchange rates; economic crises and security risks in developing countries; international conflict; and quotas, tariffs and other governmental actions. Further information on the factors that could affect Dole’s financial results is included in its SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K.