SustainAbility: Chiquita’s corporate responsibility reporting is among the world’s best

The report by SustainAbility on corporate accountability, published in November 2002, ranks Chiquita’s 2000 Corporate Responsibility Report as Number 1 in the food industry.

SustainAbility, having examined 235 similar reports, ranks
Chiquita's 2000 Corporate Responsibility Report (issued in
September 2001) as No. 1 in the food industry, No. 3 among all
US-based companies and No. 18 among all companies globally. The
SustainAbility report, published in November 2002, focuses on
triple-bottomline reporting and examines emerging trends and hot
topics in corporate accountability. SustainAbility is an
international consultancy specialising in business strategy and
sustainable development.

Chiquita, best known as one of the largest
banana producers in the world, has recently issued its second
Corporate Responsibility Report for 2001. Sceptics, however, accuse
Chiquita of using corporate responsibility as a marketing tool in
its efforts to expand market share. Affected gravely by the
European Union's import quotas as a result of the banana-dispute
between the US and the EU, Chiquita had to initiate a bankruptcy
procedure in November 2001.

Chiquita's corporate behaviour initially came
under scrutiny in 1998, following an investigative news report
describing the company's efforts to hold on to power, money and
control; how some of its business practices harmed the environment;
and how some of the chemicals the company used harmed workers and
their families, as well as the land.

Chiquita has since obtained independent
environmental certification for its Latin American farms and signed
a labour agreement with international and regional trade unions
representing the company's banana workers. Chiquita now measures
its corporate social and environmental performance against the
Better Banana Project certification programme of the nonprofit
environmental conservation group called Rainforest Alliance, as
well as against the Social Accountability 8000 international labour


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