CHIQUITA CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF INDUSTRY LEADING COLLABORATIONS
Meeting the challenge of sustainability
CINCINNATI - Feb. 9, 2012 - In 2012, Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB) celebrates 20 years of working with the Rainforest Alliance and implementing the social and environmental standards they pioneered. This collaboration marks one of the longest sustained relationships between a company and NGO. From this experience, Chiquita has also developed sustainability partnerships with leading retailers and governments to continue improving in sustainability.
To mark the occasion, on February 9, 2012, at Fruit Logistica in Berlin, Chiquita joins with representatives of the Rainforest Alliance, as well as leading retailers Migros and REWE Group, in celebrating the power of collaboration and partnerships to drive positive change.
1992 to 2012: 20 years of working with the Rainforest Alliance
When the Rainforest Alliance first proposed that banana companies should adopt their comprehensive social and environmental standards, it was a revolutionary idea. Chiquita evaluated the concept, and then proceeded to make a significant investment over the next eight years to apply the Rainforest Alliance standards on all of its owned banana farms in Latin America, improving facilities and production practices and training thousands of men and women. Subsequently, Chiquita encouraged numerous independent banana growers to become Rainforest Alliance certified.
"The Rainforest Alliance certification has transformed farms and production practices, and nurtured the growth of environmental and social responsibility in the minds of many thousands of men and women working in banana production. We are grateful to the Rainforest Alliance for their positive influence," said Manuel Rodriguez, Chiquita's Corporate Responsibility Officer. Added Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance, "In 1992, Chiquita began a process of positive change that should never end."
2003: Migros and Chiquita launch the Nature and Community Project
Chiquita's experience with the standard for sustainable agriculture, developed by the Rainforest Alliance and other NGO's in the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) opened the gates to productive partnerships. In 2003, Chiquita and leading Swiss retailer MIGROS joined in a biodiversity partnership with the aim to protect and connect rainforest areas in Costa Rica. More recently, the British retailer IPL/ASDA also joined the partnership. With support from the Rainforest Alliance and many local and international institutions, this pilot project has demonstrated that the creation of biological corridors connecting forest areas plays a key role in the conservation of natural flora and fauna. It has also demonstrated the vital importance of the participation of local farmers and communities in such a project.
Thomas Schmid of Migros states: "We are committed to work together for a common goal: Long-term conservation of the planet's biodiversity for future generations."
2008: REWE Group and Chiquita join forces in Panama
A second biodiversity partnership was born in 2008, when REWE and Chiquita agreed to work together in the Bocas province of Panama to conserve valuable wetlands and endangered species, in cooperation with the local community, farmers and government authorities. Soon after, REWE Group and Chiquita broadened their scope of activities and entered in a development partnership with the Costa Rican federation of banana growers (CORBANA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) working on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In this cooperation the work of the project has been extended to the Sixaola region of Costa Rica focusing on activities to improve the living conditions of the communities in this border region of Panama and Costa Rica.
Dr. Ludger Breloh of REWE Group remarks: "This project is a valuable component of our company-wide sustainability initiative. Dialogue and cooperation with local communities distinguish this partnership and are the keys to its success."
Brian Kocher, President of Chiquita Europe and Middle East, comments: "We are proud of the pioneering efforts we celebrate today, and are focused on building on that momentum into the future. Our customers and consumers increasingly value sustainable products and production as an integral aspect of quality. Together with our suppliers and customers, we are transforming sustainable farming into a better sustainable business."
To learn more about CSR initiatives at Chiquita, and see some of our CSR practices featured in short videos, please visit www.chiquitacsr.com.
Contact: Andrew Ciafardini, 513-784-8547, email@example.com
ABOUT CHIQUITA BRANDS INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) is committed to Improving World Nutrition, as a leading international marketer and distributor of nutritious, high-quality fresh and value-added food products - from energy-rich bananas, blends of convenient green salads, other fruits to healthy snacking products. The company markets its healthy, fresh products under the Chiquita® and Fresh Express® premium brands and other related trademarks. With annual revenues of more than $3 billion, Chiquita employs more than 21,000 people and has operations in nearly 70 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit our corporate web site at www.chiquita.com.
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