The world's largest fresh fruit and vegetable producer Dole Food reported a fall of 5% in first-quarter earnings on Thursday. The company blamed the fall in part on a higher tax rate in the first quarter. Dole posted a net income of US$34.7m compared to US$36.4m a year ago. Revenue fell to US$1.11bn compared with US$1.13bn a year ago. Dole also reported a US$7.4m operating loss in the fourth quarter.