Chiquita goes for ethical pineapplesJuly 2009
Chiquita has announced that all its pineapples will soon become Rainforest Alliance-certified.
The fruit multinational, which sources pineapples from Panama and Costa Rica, will certify 90 per cent of its supplies by the end of the year, and has a target of 100 per cent soon after.
The recent rapid expansion of pineapple production in Central America has led to serious social and environmental problems, including illegal pesticide use, water contamination, soil erosion and poor labour practices.
Rainforest Alliance certification will rely on Chiquita banning certain pesticides, requiring measures for soil conservation and upholding labour standards.
In 2007 the Dolce Pineapple Company’s farm in Panama became the first in Latin America to be certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
The certification programme is claimed to be the only sustainable agriculture scheme for pineapple production that includes regular independent audits. It is based on standards developed by the Sustainable Agriculture Network, a coalition of NGOs in tropical countries.
Chiquita has already worked with the Rainforest Alliance for 15 years on sustainable banana production, to the point where all of the company’s own banana farms and nearly all those that supply it have achieved certification.