We market and distribute our products to retail stores, foodservice operators, wholesalers and distributors in over 100 countries around the world. As a result, we conduct logistics operations on a global basis, transporting our products from the countries in which they are grown to the many markets in which they are sold worldwide. Maintaining fruit at the appropriate temperature is an important factor in preventing premature ripening and optimizing product quality and freshness. Consistent with our reputation for high-quality fresh produce, we must preserve our fresh fruit in a continuous temperature-controlled environment, beginning with the harvesting of the fruit in the field through its distribution to our customers.
DEL MONTE? is a 120-year old brand that is recognized by consumers worldwide for quality, freshness and reliability. We employ a variety of marketing tools, including but not limited to advertising, public relations and promotions, to reinforce our brand equity with consumers and the trade. Depending on the product and market, we also provide technical, logistical and merchandising support aimed at safeguarding the superior quality of our products to the ultimate consumer. Our sales and marketing activities are conducted by our sales force located at our sales offices worldwide and at our distribution centers. Our commercial efforts are supported by marketing professionals located in key markets and regional offices. A key element of our sales and marketing strategy is to use our distribution centers and fresh-cut facilities as a means of providing value-added services to our customers.
We actively support our customers through technical training in the handling of fresh produce, in-store merchandising support, joint promotional activities, market research and inventory and other logistical support. Since most of our customers carry only one branded product for each fresh produce item, our marketing and promotional efforts for fresh produce emphasize trade advertising and in-store promotions.