Dole Food Company, Inc. today announced that Dole South Africa recently celebrated Nelson Mandela Day by making it possible for 92 children from the Villages of Qunu and Mveso in the Eastern Cape to fly to Johannesburg, South Africa to meet former President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nelson Mandela to celebrate his 92 nd birthday at his home. The children were specifically selected from these two villages representing the birth place and home town of Mr Mandela. Nelson Mandela Day is a day of public service when members of the public are encouraged to do something good for at least 67 minutes in honor of more than 67 years that the former president dedicated to public service and the fight for social justice. In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly declared July 18 to be Mandela Day. Gerald Gant, Managing Director of Dole South Africa, added, “Nelson Mandela Day was more than a tribute to the life of an outstanding human being, it was an opportunity to inspire these youth and instill in them the power they each have to make positive contributions to society.” “As a global company, Dole is honored to have been associated with the Nelson Mandela Day in 2010,” said Dole President and CEO, David DeLorenzo, “I am proud of our team in South Africa for being involved in such an important initiative and putting Dole’s global commitment to social responsibility into practice.” Dole South Africa’s contracted orchards, vineyards and pack houses employ thousands of South Africans through trusted relationships with over 200 independent growers in South Africa, Namibia and Swaziland. The company invests in education, nutrition and environmental programs in the communities while empowering farmers through responsible and sustainable farming practices. Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
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