Chiquita Holdings Limited: Transparency in the Supply Chain and Modern Slavery 2018 Statement of Actions
This statement constitutes the modern slavery and human trafficking policy and describes the actions taken by Chiquita Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries and affiliates in accordance with section 54(2) of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“MSA”) and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (“CA-TISCA”). This statement is approved by the board of directors as required by the MSA or CATISCA.
Chiquita Holdings Limited and its affiliated companies (the “CHL Group”), is a privately-owned, family business, which is a leading international marketer and distributor of (i) bananas and pineapples sold worldwide under the Chiquita® and other brand names (“Chiquita”) and (ii) packaged salads sold primarily in the United States under the Fresh Express® and other brand names (“Fresh Express”).
We do not tolerate slavery or human trafficking and the CHL Group has policies that it applies throughout its supply chains – both to its worldwide operations and its dealings with suppliers and vendors. In compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 and the United Kingdom Modern Slavery Act 2015, and in an effort to identify and help to eradicate slavery and human trafficking, the CHL Group takes appropriate steps to ensure that its supply chains are free from such practices.
Considering their very different supply chains, the actual implementation of such policies in The CHL Group’s two main businesses may differ, as it is dependent on the legal and regulatory environment where the business activities take place. Accordingly, Chiquita and Fresh Express businesses are considered separately for these purposes.
Chiquita Group – Bananas and Pineapples
Who We Are
Chiquita grows and sources bananas and pineapples in 10 countries in South and Central America with distribution chains in 70 countries globally. Chiquita’s supply chain supports bringing our products from the farm to the consumer.
How Chiquita has addressed Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
Chiquita creates positive and measurable impacts by implementing the principles of sustainability in all its business practices. To be successful, Chiquita recognises the importance of supporting its employees and their families, for the communities, the fruit industry as a whole, and the environment we all live in. “Behind the blue sticker” is the term we use to reflect these initiatives.
Our “Behind the Blue Sticker” approach to sustainability is embedded within our organisation. Chiquita strives to (i) deliver the highest quality product, (ii) protect the environment, (iii) ensure sustainable farming practices, (iv) respect our workers and (v) support our communities.
Chiquita’s Code of Conduct prohibits forced labour and slavery and is incorporated into contracts with vendors and suppliers and, where applicable and appropriate, includes provisions to incorporate the principles of the (i) International Labour Organization (“ILO”) Conventions 29 and 104 prohibiting the use of forced labour and slavery and (ii) UN Declaration of Human Rights, specifically those policies which cover social and labour issues including basic human rights that also prohibit forced labour. Our standard grower contracts give Chiquita the right whenever it deems necessary, to carry out facility and/or farm inspections and to evaluate supplier or grower compliance with its standards that prohibit trafficking and slavery in supply chains. These audits may be conducted by either Chiquita or a third party. Through these annual contractual agreements we ensure that our suppliers are in compliance with laws regarding slavery and human trafficking in their respective countries. Chiquita proactively reviews their supplier contracts to ensure compliance with these standards.
Chiquita’s global human resources group is responsible for ensuring the protection of all worker’s rights. Chiquita has zero tolerance for any human rights violations. Our established policies and procedures meet international standards and are authenticated by 3rd party organizations. Except for farms recently acquired, all of Chiquita’s farms are certified by SA 8000 and the Rainforest Alliance as being compliant with anti-slavery and forced labour provisions. In addition, an increasing number of Chiquita’s independent banana and pineapple growers are certified by Rainforest Alliance. The Rainforest Alliance is an international, non-profit, environmental organization whose mission includes promoting worker welfare and community well-being. SA8000, a standard developed by Social Accountability International, develops criteria based on national laws, international human rights norms, and the conventions of the ILO. These standards include a strict prohibition against the use of forced labour. Chiquita’s farms as well as the farms of other banana and pineapple growers, are regularly audited by Rainforest Alliance and/or SA 8000 authorized independent auditors.
Chiquita maintains internal accountability standards and procedures for employees and contractors failing to meet company guidelines. If suppliers/contractors are not in compliance with Chiquita’s Code of Conduct in this regard, Chiquita is entitled to suspend its purchases of goods or services. Chiquita maintains zero-tolerance for violations by suppliers/contractors of our policy.
Freedom of Association
Chiquita believes that one of the best ways to ensure worker’s human rights is through the support of legally established trade unions. We are the only multinational banana company in the industry to have an international framework agreement with the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (“IUF”), a global federation of trade unions with members in a variety of industries. Our goal is to ensure that all workers are aware of the trade unions that support their rights. We are committed to negotiating in good faith with a regard for honesty and a legitimate interest in the well-being and interests of our workers. During 2018 Chiquita’s operations held multiple meetings with various trade union representatives from its sourcing countries.
We are proud to be part of communities in more than 21 countries. The UN Guiding principles on Business and Human Rights encourage us to look at the impacts caused by, or contributed to, our operations and supply chains. Chiquita is guided by these principles and in that light we team up with local and national governments to help local communities thrive through our support of education and healthcare initiatives.
We strive to monitor, minimise and when necessary remediate any human rights abuses within our communities. To this end, Article One, a human rights consulting firm has been retained to help Chiquita proactively assess child rights on our own farms in Costa Rica and Panama. At our request, Article One conducted what we believe is the industry’s first assessment of child rights in the villages that surround us in Costa Rica and Panama. Among many positive characteristics of Chiquita in these regions, including a strong culture of respect and inclusivity, the assessment team found no evidence of child labour at any of the farms visited and rigorous and comprehensive age verification requirements at the time of hire.
The CHL Group maintains a helpline administered by an independent service supplier that employees and other third parties can use confidentially and anonymously to communicate suspected violations of any ethical or legal concern, including those that deal with modern slavery and human trafficking. Persons who report concerns are protected from retaliation.
Chiquita’s Priorities for 2019 and Beyond
Sustainability Assessment Strategy
“Behind the Blue Sticker” is moving toward becoming an industry leader in sustainability. Chiquita’s goals are to (i) lead the industry to become wholly sustainable in its operations, (ii) ensure that communities we serve thrive and (iii) address the global challenge to improve food security and reduce poverty.
Enshrined in this strategy is Chiquita’s commitment to continually evaluate and address our operations with a view to improving the communities we serve and eradicating human trafficking and slavery in all of our global operations.
Fresh Express Group – Salads, Leafy Greens and Vegetables
Along with the rest of the CHL Group, Fresh Express supports the rights of all individuals and workers to be free from slavery in the workplace. Fresh Express does not tolerate the practices of child labour, human trafficking or slavery.
The Fresh Express supply chains are primarily sourced from suppliers within the United States. In its contracts with suppliers, Fresh Express requires compliance with all laws, including anti-slavery and human trafficking laws. Suppliers who sign contracts with Fresh Express, represent that they are in compliance with the law and any failures to comply will result in a breach of contract and violation of the law.
Fresh Express sources its materials and product from reputable companies with high standards. These high standards and requirements regarding the prohibition of human trafficking and slavery in our product supply chain are a part of our commitment to deliver quality products to our customers.
The CHL Group’s confidential helpline mentioned above re the Chiquita Group is equally applicable to the Fresh Express Group.
This statement constitutes the 2018 modern slavery and human trafficking statement of Chiquita Holdings Limited and all its applicable subsidiaries and affiliates which fall within the scope of the MSA or CA-TISCA and was approved by the board of directors on 28 February 2019.