In California, there is a museum dedicated to the banana fruit. The International Banana Club Museum was first established in 1976 by Ken Bannister and is home to around 17,000 donated banana collectibles. It was named the "World's Largest Collection" devoted to one fruit by the Guinness World Records in 2005.
Source: Dearing, S. (2010, April 13). Unique and very yellow International Banana Club Museum saved. Retrieved from http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/290541
Growing sunshine takes knowledge, patience, and passion. Our fruits are cultivated and harvested with the utmost care and precision by the hands of our hardworking farmers.
Dole bananas are primarily grown in the tropical climes of the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. In the Philippines, our bananas move on a journey from seedling propagation in Dole’s biotech laboratory and nurseries to farms at low-, mid- and high-elevation finally ending with our harvesters and pack houses at the precise moment needed, so as to be at shop shelves at the perfect stage of ripeness.
The entire process ensures a steady stream of high-quality bananas with a sweetness that’s uniquely Dole.
In Dole’s biotech laboratories, banana suckers are carefully sliced and grown under laboratory conditions for weeks to prevent diseases from infecting the plants. This process also allows the roots to develop in preparation for further growth in the nurseries.
In the nurseries, each banana plant is replanted into a bag of specially prepared growing medium where it is nurtured to further growth for eight weeks. This readies the banana plants for planting in the farms.
Before transplanting the banana plants into the farms, the land is prepared according to the recommendations of our soil scientists for each unique farm. This process provides the plants with optimum growing conditions, taking into account ideal field layout, correct drainage and control to prevent soil erosion.
Each young banana plant is carefully planted by hand and looked after by our farmers and growers until they are ready for harvesting. Based on many years of production experience and strongly supported by our Dole research scientists, all of our agricultural practices are carried out with the objective of ensuring ideal crop nurturing and generation of high-quality bananas while keeping our workers safe and minimizing any impact on the environment. We operate managed farms and also source fruit from independent growers who work with us under long-term contractual arrangements. We provide our independent growers with technical support to ensure high standards are met at every step of the growing and production process.
To ensure our bananas reach shop shelves and consumers in optimum condition, the fruit is always picked green. This enables precise and proper ripening prior to reaching stores. As part of the harvesting process the fruit is cut from the stem and carried on a special conveyor system direct from the farm to the packing sheds.
In the packing sheds, the banana “hands” are removed from the stem and then washed thoroughly to ensure cleanliness. They can be packed as hands or cut into clusters or individual fingers and sometimes packed as “consumer packs” depending on customer requests which vary country by country. However, the Dole quality level is the same high standard regardless of market. To prevent bruising and damage via transport, special care in taken when packing the fruit into boxes.
The packed bananas are loaded into refrigerated containers for land transportation from the packhouse to the port and then are either loaded onto Dole’s refrigerated ships or shipped directly in the same container to the market. Either way, the produce is kept at an optimal temperature during shipment.
Upon arrival in the market, ships and containers are unloaded and must pass the Dole quality assurance inspections and all national requirements for imported fruits. Subsequently our bananas are moved to ripening facilities and then onward to grocery stores. This schedule is carefully managed so as to provide tasty yellow fruit that delights in eating pleasure.