March 31st 2020 ・ 10 min reading
In terms of water consumption, two pounds of bananas will require 400 to 600 liters of water to grow and to process the fruit including cleaning, dehanding (“dehanding” is the process of separating the entire banana bunches into smaller hands of 5 to 6 bananas) and packing. Most of the water comes from rainfall but in areas where water is scarce, Chiquita relies on irrigation from local aquifers, wells and rivers.
Through the installation of water re‐circulation systems currently at 26% of our farms, water consumption is cut by 80%, which accounts for average annual water savings of 1.7 billion liters. Additionally, we operate dry dehanding packing stations at 23% of all our farms, accounting for water saving of about 160 Million liters per year. Additionally, micro-irrigation systems and plant ground cover help reduce water runoff from our farmland.
Water use reduction is only one side of the water footprint calculation. The other side is the quality of the water that runs off our farms back into the natural cycle. We take systematic measures to make sure that our run‐off water is clean: