ITOCHU Announces Conclusion of Medical Support Agreement for Dole's Pineapple Production Site in Sierra Leone

January 22, 2024

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it had signed a Medical Alliance Agreement with the Initiative for Global Perinatal Care (Eiji Hirakawa, Chairman; hereinafter "IGPC") through a subsidiary of Dole Asia Holdings Pte. Ltd. (headquartered in Singapore; Toshikazu Otani, President and CEO; hereinafter "DAH"), in which ITOCHU holds a 100% stake, including indirect ownership. This agreement was aimed at providing general outpatient treatment and perinatal care (referred to general medical care in the period from the 22nd week of pregnancy to before the seventh day after childbirth) in the Republic of Sierra Leone in West Africa.

The DAH established Sierra Tropical Limited (headquartered in the Republic of Sierra Leone; Kwame A. B. Wiafe, Managing Director, hereinafter "STL") in 2014 as a a third pineapple production site following the sites in the Philippines and Thailand. Since April 2022, STL has been growing pineapples and producing processed pineapple products for the US and European markets. Republic of Sierra Leone, where STL is based, is one of the poorest countries in West Africa. Its medical infrastructure is poor. The average life expectancy in Sierra Leon is 60.8 years, meaning that the country is ranked 174th out of 183 countries.*1 It has 0.1 medical doctors per 1,000 people, whereas Japan has 2.6.*2 Maternal mortality in the country as a whole is said to be particularly high at 443 deaths per 100,000 live births (there are 4 deaths per 100,000 live births in Japan).*3

STL established an independent clinic in April 2021 for the purpose of providing medical services to its employees and inhabitants in its business area. In collaboration with the IGPC, it currently sends one Japanese medical doctor and four nurses to the clinic to provide general outpatient treatment and perinatal care to its employees and family members and perinatal care in 47 villages in the chiefdom of Lugbu in Sierra Leone. ITOCHU recently signed a medical alliance dealing with the IGPC. Defining this initiative as a core project in STL's regional contribution activities, it will ensure that Japanese medical doctors and nurses will be stably stationed to provide medical care to high-risk pregnant women and that its regional contribution will be continued and enlarged through education and cultivation of medical personnel in Sierra Leone.

Since its establishment, STL has been actively supporting rice growing and other agriculture and digging wells for residents of the surrounding area with a view toward improving the regional living environment, stimulating the local economy and increasing the number of jobs. ITOCHU included contributing to the SDGs and strengthening SDG initiatives in the Basic Policies in its medium-term management plan. ITOCHU will be supplying high quality pineapple products from the site while improving the living environment in the local community through this initiative.

  • *1Source: WHO World health statistics 2022
  • *2Source: World Bank 2020
  • *3Source: World Bank 2020


Investment relationships between ITOCHU and STL

Photos of STL's independent clinic

Photos of the STL site

STL Company Overview

Company name Sierra Tropical Limited
Established Jun. 2014
Number of local employees 1,857
Business Outline Production and processing/sales of pineapples for the U.S. and European markets

IGPC organization outline

Name Initiative for Global Perinatal Care (IGPC)
Location 1-20-3-308 Toyotamakami, Nerima-ku, Tokyo
Established July 2019
Business · Making comprehensive perinatal care in developing countries standard
· Sharing information about methods for resuscitating and caring for premature infants, children with respiration disorders and others in developing countries
· Broad sharing of information about maternal and child health in developing countries
· Establishing and developing the connections between agricultural, forestry and fishery villages or mountainous regions in Japan with regions in developing countries