Dave McLaughlin leads WWF-US’s Sustainable Food program and leads the global network’s work on agricultural issues. He joined WWF after more than 30 years in the food industry. He spent most of this time in Latin America cultivating palm oil and bananas for one of the world’s biggest produce companies, Chiquita Brands International.
Over the course of his career, Dave made meaningful improvements to the agriculture industry in Latin America. In the 1980s, he was one of the first and only plantation managers in the palm oil industry to embrace a plan to make the farms and extraction mills more sustainable. He also led an effort to include smallholders in Chiquita’s palm oil business plan, creating local opportunities for economic development.
In the 1990s, as the leader of Chiquita’s banana operations in Costa Rica, Mr. McLaughlin worked with the environmental community to implement a host of measures that made the cultivation of bananas more sustainable and profitable.