Del Monte Fresh Produce: Building a reputation

When we started our partnership, Portland’s Del Monte Fresh Produce was facing several lawsuits. Memories of the 2007 ICE immigration raid remained top-of-mind for many, dominating Google search results. Some in the media and Oregon’s Department of Justice targeted Del Monte. These events put Del Monte on the defensive. CFM partnered with Del Monte to move beyond unfavorable publicity of the past and positioned Del Monte favorably as a valuable, forward-looking member of the community.

Our program was designed to protect and build Del Monte’s reputation in Oregon, focusing on building relationships with policy makers, media and local consumers. The CFM team met regularly with General Manager Warren Wojiski and key staff to identify ways the company could contribute to the community and healthy lifestyles. CFM provided counsel and coaching each step of the way.

Marketing Public Relations: The leadership group assessed media opportunities and undertook community outreach and engagement. CFM recommended strategic cause‐marketing events to engage policymakers and health-conscious consumers and connect Del Monte with worthy efforts and organizations. CFM organized and coordinated free fruit samples and giveaways at events such as:

  • Healthy Snack Day at the Oregon Capitol;
  • KGW-TV Live Well Challenge;
  • Susan G. Komen Portland Race for the Cure;
  • Susan G. Komen Eugene Race for the Cure: and
  • Pacific Northwest Diabetes Week: Circle on the Court.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS: CFM led a reputation management effort that included a crisis communications and issues management plan. When a salmonella outbreak was linked to imported cantaloupes, resulting in a Del Monte voluntary recall. CFM assisted with issues management by preparing a statement for Oregon media, and working with national media.

After a decade in Oregon these first positive communications steps accomplished in 2011 began to demonstrate Del Monte’s commitment to the community and as an advocate for food security.