December 15, 2019

CSRWire.com The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire

news by category

CSR News

Chiquita Achieves SA8000 Certification of Costa Rican Farms

Submitted by: Chiquita Brands International, Inc.

Categories: Environment

Posted: Mar 17, 2003 – 11:00 PM EST

 

First major agricultural operation in Central America to earn SA8000 certification

Mar. 17 /CSRwire/ - CINCINNATI, OH – Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB) announced today that independent auditors have certified its banana farms in Costa Rica to the strict Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000) labor standard. Chiquita’s Costa Rican division, which has more than 2,400 employees, is the first major agricultural operation in Central America to earn this certification.

Bureau Veritas Quality International (BVQI), an independent auditing organization, inspected Chiquita’s Costa Rican banana production, harvesting and packaging operations in October and December 2002, and the company received the official SA8000 Certificate of Approval earlier this month.

“SA8000 is a very high standard. We are pleased that our employees in Costa Rica succeeded in becoming our first SA8000-certified division,” said Jeff Zalla, Chiquita’s corporate responsibility officer. In 2000, the company set a target to achieve compliance and third-party certification to the standard in all of its owned banana divisions. “Our divisions in Colombia and in Bocas, Panama, are also on track to earn third-party certification to SA8000 later this year.”

“Achieving SA8000 on our Costa Rican farms is a source of great pride for our employees and reflects our commitment to continuous improvement,” said Mark Oakley, general manager of Chiquita’s Costa Rica division. “The changes enabled by the SA8000 certification process have helped to create a more positive work environment, which translates into higher productivity, lower operating costs and, ultimately, the best bananas in the business.”

Social Accountability International (SAI), a nonprofit human rights organization founded in 1996, developed SA8000 in collaboration with a wide range of government, labor, consumer, business and other nongovernmental organizations. SA8000 is a comprehensive, verifiable standard based on International Labour Organization (ILO) and other human rights conventions. SA8000 sets performance standards in nine areas: child labor, forced labor, health and safety, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, discrimination, discipline, working hours, remuneration and management systems. For more information, visit SAI’s web site at http://www.sa-intl.org.

Chiquita Brands International is a leading global marketer, producer and distributor of high-quality fresh produce. The company’s Chiquita Fresh Group is one of the largest banana producers in the world and a major supplier of bananas in North America and Europe. Sold primarily under the premium Chiquita® brand, the company also distributes and markets a variety of other fresh fruits and vegetables. For more information, visit the company’s web site at www.chiquita.com.

For more information, please contact:

Michael Mitchell Chiquita (Americas contact)
Phone: +1-513.784.8959
Dennis Christou Chiquita (Europe contact)
Phone: + 32.3.203.9119

 

Issuers of news releases and not csrwire are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content