March 3rd 2021 ・ 3 min reading
At Chiquita, we are proud that our bananas are tops for taste and quality. We are also fully committed to sustainability. We have been working hard to ensure that our delicious fruit are grown, processed and transported to your local store as sustainably as possible, and that our workers, their families and the environment they live in also receive the best possible care.
To ensure we meet the best possible sustainability standards, we are committed to the requirements of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The SDGs – born at a United Nations conference in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – are 17 inter-connected goals addressing everything from the threat of climate change and achieving gender equality and better health to eradicating poverty: they were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universally shared blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
At Chiquita, we are playing our own part in meeting these important aims. Below, we’ll look at the SDGs and how our efforts to achieve sustainability, improve the environment, and ensure the health and welfare of our workers fit into these goals.
End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
Chiquita’s leadership role in tackling the banana disease TR4 helps secure the livelihoods of millions around the world. Also, we work to create sustainable growth in our local communities and have a much-praised rewards package in place for our employees.
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
We farm with an eye on the future, using new agricultural technologies such as drip irrigation and cover crop, using waste material so that we produce less waste.
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Bananas are the most-eaten fruit in the world and are source of important minerals (potassium), vitamins (particularly B6) and fiber, helping to ensure health and well-being for millions.
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
We have distributed nearly 25,000 assistance packages in the last five years, we donate land, materials and equipment for schools and help to renovate and construct school buildings.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
We work hard to ensure women in our workforce are treated well, protected from abuse, and have the best possible opportunities to progress; since 2011, we have a special agreement in place with IUF and COLSIBA promoting workers’rights and specifically protecting women.
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Our targeted irrigation and water-smart technologies in the packing stations, like water recycling systems and dry de-handing, have allowed us to consistently reduce water use in our production process.
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
We have made major investments in energy efficiency in the ripening process and in shipping – our main areas of energy use; we own the world’s first carbon-neutral banana ripening facility in The Netherlands.
Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Our employees are at the heart of everything we do. We ensure stability and security of work, through a safe work environment and social security coverage for 100% of our employees; we promote equal opportunity and treatment in employment; we pay, on average, well above national minimum and living wages. We are the only international banana company that has an international framework agreement with the IUF-Colsiba unions and representations: we are proud of our decades of history of open social dialogue between employers’ and workers’ representation, encouraging negotiation and interaction with unions and worker representatives.
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
Since 2015 we have replaced over 10,000 containers in our fleet with new, energy-efficient versions, saving over 17,000 tons of CO2 per year, and constantly look for new ways to save more energy.
Reduce inequality within and among countries.
We fully support the UN Declaration of Human Rights and other key business and human rights principles and were the first banana company to undertake a Child Rights Impact Assessment of our operations.
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
We are embedded in the communities where we farm and work closely with local communities to create sustainable growth.
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Our ‘No banana wasted’ program ensures that no banana goes to landfill at any point in our supply chain.
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Climate change is a problem that the world needs to solve urgently: we are working with experts to set new, challenging science-based targets for our business.
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Our Great White shipping fleet operates to the highest international standards, and we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our operations that impact marine ecosystems.
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt biodiversity loss.
Since 2004 all our farms are Rainforest Alliance certified ensuring the protection of vital ecosystems; we are fostering reforestation and biodiversity, for example though the San San Pond Sak wetland reserve in Panama and the Nogal wildlife project in Costa Rica, which is part of the Mesoamerican corridor.
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.
We have strong and active grievance processes in the company, as well as an independent 24-hour hotline; we work with all our partners to achieve the best possible strong, peaceful and industrial relations.
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
We’re on the Steering Committee of the UN-hosted World Banana Forum and are collaborating with Wageningen University to tackle the TR4 disease.
As you can see, we’re working incredibly hard to ensure the SDGs succeed, playing our own part in an inspiring global effort. So, next time you buy our delicious, nutritious bananas, you’ll know they are a small part of a really big effort to make the world a more sustainable place.
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