Want to Know Where Your Food Comes From? Dole Organic Can Tell You

Written by Max Goldberg on January 8, 2010. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

Dole Organic Label

Even though my website has been up for only a very short period of time, several people have left comments on the blog that they like to look their local farmer in the eye before they purchase their food.

Why is this?  Well, they want some reassurance that the food they are buying is truly organic and free of pesticides.

In essence, they want to know where their food is coming from.

Dole Organic has recognized this desire of many consumers and has actually done something about it.

At the top of the label, you will see a farm number.  If you go to doleorganic.com and search for the corresponding number, in this case #633, you will be able to get information about and pictures of the farm where the bananas were produced, including PDFs of the organic certification papers.  The content and pictures may vary slightly from farm to farm.

According to Frans Wielemaker, Director of Sourcing and Development of the Organic and Exotics Program at Dole, “this program was started two years ago.  It was initially something that our organic certifier wanted us to have but once all the hard work and logistics were implemented, we decided to use the system as a way to connect with the consumer.”

Other interesting facts that Frans shared with me about Dole Organic:

– Organic certifiers check each farm, announced or unannounced, at least twice per year. The certification agency is USDA/NOP (National Organic Program) approved.

– It takes about 2-3 weeks from when bananas are harvested until they reach the supermarket shelves.

– Bananas are washed and cleaned in big buckets of water before they are packed.

– It is the only large company which actively does research to grow bananas organically and help its growers to improve growing and packaging practices.

– Dole has active foundations to help the communities where the organic bananas are grown.

I am a HUGE fan of Dole’s organic bananas, especially the ones from Ecuador, and eat them practically every single day.  I love their online initiatives and how they are at the forefront of connecting with their customers, despite being thousands of miles away.

Quite simply, these people “get it”, and we need more companies like Dole Organic.

Signature: Have a great day!


  1. I have read that although all of this may be true of Dole, they DO also cut down old forests to plant banana plantations.
    Supposedly Chiquita is one of the few (or at least of the bigger names) that do not do so.

    Written by Carolyn on January 9, 2010 @ 1:12 pm
  2. Hi Carolyn,

    Thanks so much for this information. I will get in touch with the people from Dole Organic and have them respond to this. Hopefully, by early next week we’ll have an answer.

    The Chiquita bananas that I have seen are not organic. While they may not be cutting down forests (which is clearly a very good thing), there is a strong possibility that they are spraying them with toxic chemicals and polluting the soil and water sources.

    I very much appreciate your comments.

    Live well,

    Written by livingmaxwell on January 9, 2010 @ 4:12 pm
  3. Hi Max, this is so informative. While I believe in frugal living, I also believe that health is the best wealth. I will let my readers know about your tips for the best ways to save on organics. Thanks for taking the time to do all this research.
    Susan Kessler, The Frugal Diva

    Written by Susan Kessler on January 11, 2010 @ 12:07 pm
  4. Hi Max,
    Happy to respond to this blog posting. And keep me aware of any questions you may want to see me answer.
    Hopefully the source of information which Carolyn read is available from her as this accusation about Dole is not true. Please send me the reference. We can not rely on ‘hear-say’. Dole clearly has Corporate Social Responsibility policies describing where and how we plant and grow bananas. See; http://www.dole.com

    Our competitor mentioned does also sell Organic bananas. They also sell conventionally grown “Rainforrest Alliance” certified and labelled bananas which however does allow use of conventional agro-chemicals. They are not grown in rainforrests and are not organic. Certain chemicals are prohibited or restricted for use only.

    Hope I have clarified things.

    Frans Wielemaker

    Written by Frans Wielemaker on January 11, 2010 @ 3:39 pm
  5. Hi Susan,

    I am so glad you have found this site to be informative and are sharing it with your readers! Thank you so much!!!

    Live well,

    Written by Max on January 11, 2010 @ 8:51 pm
  6. Hi Frans,

    Thanks so much for responding to Carolyn’s concerns. I appreciate it.

    Live well,

    Written by Max on January 11, 2010 @ 8:52 pm
  7. …….just thought i would let everyone know….concerning bananas…..i can only eat organic bananas….all others give me headaches…..also aspertame…….now you must realize that i am like the ”canary” in the mine….i am sensitive to a lot of diff. food….but also i have been trying to be very methodical[scientific] about my conclusions…..i really think that ”they” are on to something big……how many of these gmo foods are dragging our families down little by little without our ability to notice what is going on……just look at our children…..don’t they seem less motivated to go outside,don’t they do worse in school than we did?…….we are disappointed in them ….but what if they never had a chance from this silent gmo result?

    Written by kev on September 25, 2010 @ 1:05 pm
  8. I recently came across this article. Apparently the whole ORGANIC standard is being compromised by vested interests such that “certified organic” may no longer mean what you think it does – chemicals galore?

    I wonder what impact this has on organic banana production. Can we still trust that when Dole says organic, they mean that they truly stick to their principles; or are they going to take advantage of Big Food’s corruption of the organic board to make a few quick bucks?

    Written by Genevieve on July 18, 2012 @ 11:40 am
  9. Hi Genevieve,

    Yes, I saw the article and covered the main aspects of it several weeks ago when I wrote about Cornucopia’s The Organic Watergate.

    Dole: No one can say for certain but I have had interaction with organic banana people from Dole and they seem pretty committed. The seal and the system are not perfect but it’s the best thing we have right now. And I support the USDA program, in spite of whatever shortcomings there are.

    Live well,

    Written by Max Goldberg on July 19, 2012 @ 2:05 pm
  10. I question why a company that never cared about offering organic bananas for decades organic has existed, has now suddenly decided to? I highly suspect a mere desperation to maintain profits as consumers become more educated and choose to eat organic food. Such well-established corporations as Dole certainly have the money to cover things up a bit… make them look “real”? I can SMELL and taste the chemicals on these organic bananas, regardless of what organic sticker with various source names is on them, so I will continue to go by my natural ability to distinguish the good from the bad. Many people have lost their self-defending sense of smell thanks to all the artificially scented products on the market used everywhere and designed to deaden our sense of smell. I’ve protected mine by avoiding them.

    Written by Emevie on May 7, 2014 @ 8:46 am
  11. Hi Max,
    I eat an organic banana every morning I love bananas I will not eat or buy any GMO bananas.


    Written by Vera Shaver on February 4, 2015 @ 4:50 pm
  12. Hi there. I was curious if you would know if the dole organic strawberries are gmo? They say organic but something about them doesn’t seem right. I feel that they might be using gmo seed and methodically growing them organic. Does anyone know?

    Written by Chrissy on February 15, 2015 @ 12:37 pm
  13. Yout had mentioned that the bananas are cleaned in buckets of water. Why do they even need to be cleaned and are you sure its just water? There are rumors that organic bananas are also dipped with chemicals

    Written by Donna Stack on March 17, 2015 @ 8:39 am

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