Chiquita Offers First Rainforest Alliance-Certified Fruit in Europe

Chiquita Offers First Rainforest Alliance-Certified Fruit in Europe

Chiquita Brands International, Inc. will now be filling supermarket shelves in nine European markets with bananas labeled as Rainforest Alliance-certified. The new label brings together the Miss Chiquita icon and the Rainforest Alliance's frog logo.

"As bananas are the number one-selling product in most grocery stores, to have a company like Chiquita adopt responsible cultivation practices has far-reaching benefits for the environment, farm workers and the consumer," said Chris Wille, director of sustainable agriculture programs at the Rainforest Alliance. "The Rainforest Alliance-certified seal will help consumers recognize Chiquita's commitment and investment, and therefore allow them to make an informed decision about what they buy."

Chiquita has been incorporating Rainforest Alliance criteria into its farming practices since 1992, and the company is now able to source enough bananas from certified farms to guarantee their availability in supermarkets across Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.

"Consumers today are faced with many choices when they shop at the supermarket, and this new label lets people know that a Chiquita banana is not just a healthy, high-quality fruit, but also that it was grown using sustainable production techniques by people who enjoy among the best working conditions in the industry," said Michel Loeb, president of Chiquita Fresh Group - Europe. "When you buy a banana with the Rainforest Alliance-Chiquita seal, we believe you are buying a better banana."

To achieve Rainforest Alliance certification, every Chiquita farm has to implement more than 200 criteria, covering protection of the environment and biodiversity as well as fair treatment of workers and good workplace conditions. The Rainforest Alliance partners with local environmental organizations to review compliance with these criteria on each farm every year.

According to Raul Gomez, manager of a Chiquita farm in Costa Rica, the changes have been beneficial and far-reaching. "Since Chiquita has applied the Rainforest Alliance standards, we have seen so many positive changes. We've stopped using pesticides whenever possible. We have planted hundred of trees. We are trained in environmental management and protection, and then put this education into practice so that our children can also benefit."
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