Dole Food Company, the world's largest fresh produce company, is working with government officials in China to develop new production and processing facilities in the country, the company's chairman David Murdock has revealed.
Speaking at a special event in Oslo to mark the 125th anniversary of Norwegian fresh produce importer-distributor Bama-Gruppen, Murdock said he had spent three weeks in China in late August and the first half of September, visiting a number of different locations.
"Eight or nine days ago I was all over China," he explained. "We are doing a very large amount of new facilities with the Chinese government."
Dole currently owns processing and distribution centres in the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Qingdao.
The group's Worldwide Packaged Food Division operates three processing centres for tinned products in Asia – two in Thailand and one in the Philippines.
In terms of its overall Asian operations, Dole sources bananas, pineapples, asparagus, mangoes, papaya and other fruits and vegetables from the Philippines and Thailand, transporting them to markets principally in Asia, New Zealand and the Middle East.
The company also sources citrus, deciduous fruit and vegetables, including asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage and lettuce from North America, Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, South Africa, Chile and other parts of the world for distribution in Asian markets, primarily Japan.
In Japan, Dole also distributes domestically sourced fruits, vegetables and value-added products such as fresh-cut fruit, vegetables and salads.