Pineapple growers get help from Dolefil for Asean integration

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Friday, April 25, 2014

DOLE Philippines Inc. (Dolefil) will intensify its growership program this year in a bid to help local pineapple growers meet the challenges brought about by the Asean Economic Convergence in 2015.

Lawyer Melquiades L. Hernandez III, director of the corporate affairs division of Dolefil, said in Tuesday's edition of Davao Business Forum at Dermpath at SM City Davao Annex that growers are expected to experience stiff competition during the integration because of similar products that other neighboring Asean countries are producing.

"The growership program that we have will serve as a safety net for our local farmers," he said.


Hernandez said growers can be assured of market where their product will go to since Dolefil exports 95 percent of its products to the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

He also said the company now has a wider distribution network after it was acquired by Japanese company Itochu Corporation in 2013.

In terms of financing, he said the company can guarantee the grower a percentage of the loan they will be getting from the financial institution.

Hernandez said the company also has the capability to train and provide them the needed technology to make sure they produce products that are up to the company's quality and standards.

He said the company is deploying Plantation Development Groups to different locations to talk with the farmers.

Hernandez also said this is also part of the company's plans to double its plantations in the country in order to cater to the bigger market they have now.

Currently Dolefil operates around 16,571 hectares of both base plantation and private growers in Region 12. The company produces around 25 million cases per year of processed pineapples and ship more than 13 million boxes of fresh pineapples.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 26, 2014.


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