Chiquita Brands International has published its Corporate Social Responsibility report for the period covering 2009-2012, detailing the US-based group's environmental and sustainability initiatives, community activities, culture and training initiatives and food safety programmes, while also highlighting the various collaborations and partnerships the company has in place.
Titled 'Our Renewed Purpose', the report details four key CSR areas of priority for Chiquita, including sustainability with 2020 target of reducing fresh water usage 15 per cent and carbon emissions 30 per cent, responsible sourcing, employee training programmes and collaboration with external stakeholders.
“Investing in our communities with creativity through environmental initiatives, employee volunteerism and partnerships is at the core of our purpose and values,” said Ed Lonergan, Chiquita’s president and CEO. “Our team members have innovated, developed and embraced a multitude of partnerships, collaborations and local initiatives that have empowered local communities and delivered meaningful improvements to our company.
"We are proud to provide this report on our progress, as well as to outline the areas where we have more work to achieve in the years ahead," he added.
The report outlines some of the group's key CSR initiatives, such as the substantial improvements made in conditions impacting the occupational health and safety of employees and contractors through programmes such as 'Target Zero', and a greater focus on employee engagement.
Also highlighted is the formation of the first Women's Committee in the banana industry in 2011, 20 years of sustained collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance, and the carbon footprint analysis undertaken with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“Looking back on our initiatives, achieving Rainforest Alliance certification was a turning point that not only transformed our farms and production practices but also planted a seed of environmental and social responsibility in the minds of thousands of men and women working in banana production,” explained Manuel Rodríguez, Chiquita’s senior vice-president for governmental & international affairs and corporate responsibility officer.
“CSR and sustainability have become an integral part of our operations and a source of pride for our employees who make all that we do possible. Looking forward, we will report on our progress annually.”