Dole Restructures Fresh Flower Business

October 13, 2006 - 08:46

Dole Food Co. announced last week it was restructuring its fresh flower division. The company said the move was designed to help the division “…better focus on high-value products and flower varieties and position the business unit for future growth.” These moves are expected to improve the company’s annual cash flow by $35 million. Restructuring charges for the company in the third and fourth quarter are expected to reach $26 million.

As part of the restructuring, Dole Fresh Flowers (DFF) will close its Ecuador operations as well as two farms in Colombia. The company will downsize flower production facilities, impacting 1,275 employees; its global sales force will be reduced by 35 percent, and administrative/management positions will be reduced 29 percent.

“The fresh flower business is highly fragmented and competitive. Industry oversupply has driven prices down, creating significant pressure on growers to improve performance. Latin American growers are also facing new competition from emerging markets in Africa and Asia,” said John Amaya, president of Dole Fresh Flowers.

According to the company, the goal of restructuring is to help DFF better align its supply with the market demand and “…focus on delivering superior products and service for its customers.”

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