In a little reported meeting last week at the Presidential Palace in Quito, the owner of Dole Food Co., David Murdock met with Rafael Correa to discuss new investment by the world's largest fruit company in both banana production and scientific research.
As well as seeking to make investment in new plantations – up to 3,000 hectares according to some reports – Dole proposed to provide scientific support for the Yachay project, an ambitious proposal by the Ecuadorian government to « revolutionise higher education and research in the country ». Dole proposed a link-up with its nutrition research laboratory in North Carolina.
A tweet from the President after the meeting claimed that Murdock « recognised the major advances that are under way through the Citizens' Revolution ».
Dole Ubesa, the company's subsidiary in Ecuador, currently produces bananas on around 2,000 hectares of its own land and buys from over 100 independent producers. Since 2009, it has been the single largest banana exporting company, overtaking the Noboa group. One banana in eight exported bears the Dole brand.
Sources : www.elciudadano.gob.ec, 26th September ; #Presidencia_Ec ; AEBE, Guayaquil.