Dole Food Company

Our Island Legacy

Dole Food Company History

Dole’s roots in Hawaii date back to 1851 when Samuel Northrup Castle and Amos Starr Cooke established the company that eventually became Dole Food Company, Inc. At the end of the 19th century, James Drummond Dole, a 21-year-old graduate of Harvard, arrived in Hawaii. With degrees in business and horticulture and a keen interest in farming, Dole hoped to make a living by growing the exotic pineapple. By 1901 James Dole had acquired 60 acres of land 18 miles north of Honolulu, in Wahiawa, and had formed the Hawaiian Pineapple Company with groves of smooth Cayenne pineapples. In the 1930s Dole went into business with Castle & Cooke as principal shareholders in Hawaiian Pineapple Company and beginning in 1933 the Dole name was affixed to the company's products.

Today as the world’s largest producer and marketer of fruit products in the world Dole’s iconic brand name is recognized as the “gold standard” for quality, safety and nutrition research and education. All of Dole’s products are produced and marketed under stringent quality control guidelines. Dole Hawaiian pineapple fields are still located in Wahiawa in the center of Oahu. Wahiawa, which in Hawaiian, "wahi a wa" translates to "place of noise", is situated between the two volcanic mountain ranges that make up the island - Wai'anae Mountains and Ko'olau Mountains - in the island's central valley and house many agricultural fields. Dole Hawaii's Wahiawa pineapple farm is drip irrigated and ranges in elevation from about 600 ft to 1,000 ft above sea level with current acreage near 3000 acres.

With more than a century and a half of farming knowledge trust DOLE for the favorite Hawaiian pineapples!

Commitment to Quality
Eating right is an important part of your life. We are dedicated to the highest quality standards, providing people nutritious, farm-fresh products that taste delicious and exceed expectations. Combining responsible farming practices, comprehensive programs for food safety, pledged transparency, and state-of-the-art production, we give people the power to experience healthy living like never before. 

Environmental Responsibility
Since day one, we’ve taken a sustainable approach to all our products, constantly improving and enhancing our growing techniques to create food that’s good for you and easy on the planet. In nature, everything is connected and as a leader in the fruit and vegetable categories, we take pride in our responsible practices that set the bar for employee respect and environmental preservation.

Belief In Our People
Great products start with amazing people. That’s why we work tirelessly to continuously improve the lives and livelihoods of our farmers and workers, offering competitive wages, substantial benefits, and safe work environments. Our main core values of Integrity, Loyalty, Commitment and Respect are there to guide every decision we make. At Dole, we believe that happy hands always grow the most delicious produce.


Dole Food Company diversifies Hawaii Crops with Waialua Estate Coffee & Chocolate

The History of Waialua Estate

Under the name Waialua Estate, Dole began to grow Coffee and Cacao on former sugarcane lands on the Wahiawa Plateau overlooking Oahu’s famous North Shore. It also built a Chocolate Factory in Honolulu and produces bean-to-bar chocolate considered world-class in flavor and quality.  This growing region is bordered on two sides by the steep and dramatic Waianae and Ko’olau mountain ranges in the shadow of Mt. Ka’ala, the Island’s highest point. The 155-acre coffee farm sits above the coastal towns of Haleiwa and Waialua at an elevation of about 700 feet (300 meters) above sea level, while the 80 acres of cacao are situated at sea level along the banks of the Kaukonahua river, near Waialua town. The climate is warm and mild with average temperatures in the mid 80’s Fahrenheit (25° Celsius) with an annual rainfall of 20”.

Processing the two crops works in tandem with harvest seasons spread six months apart which keeps our full-time crew employed year-round. Waialua Estate Coffee and Cacao makes use of integrated pest management programs including the protection of beneficial insects, the use of biological control products, and only limited use of traditional pesticides.  The orchards blossom under the watchful care of our skilled staff and consistently produce the fine products we offer today under the Waialua Estate brand.

For over a century, until its closure in 1996, the Waialua Sugar Company in the town of Waialua, on the North Shore of Oahu, was home to one of the largest sugarcane plantations in the state of Hawaii. The North Shore is also the original location of Dole Food Company’s pineapple growing and processing operation established by James Dole in 1901.

With the increasing globalization of agriculture, an economic need to diversify arose and culminated in the mid-1990s. With the closure of the sugarcane plantation in 1996 and response to growing consumer demand for distinctive, high-quality Hawaiian grown products, Dole initiated a program of diversified agriculture to assist displaced workers while expanding the local market with new products. Waialua Estate’s Coffee and Chocolate have further launched Hawaii onto the world stage for producing authentic Specialty Products.