Chiquita Discusses Sustainable Agriculture Program Progress; Jamie Postell Comments
- by Lilian Diep
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - Amidst the changes the world is experiencing, Chiquita is keeping Mother Nature at the top of its priority list as it reaffirms its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint through sustainable agriculture practices. The brand has implemented a variety of farm rejuvenation and reengineering practices through its “Farmers’ Code,” an arm of Chiquita’s “Behind the Blue Sticker” strategic vision that aims to improve efficiency, increase yield, and reduce Chiquita’s environmental impact while ensuring optimal Chiquita banana quality.
“At Chiquita, we are farmers at heart and recognize the consequences climate change can have on our banana crop and valued farming community,” said Jamie Postell, Vice President of Sales for Chiquita North America. “With agriculture at the core of our operations, we believe that farming in the most efficient and sustainable methods possible are not only positive for society and our business but can significantly contribute to the larger fight against climate change.”
Currently, 59 percent of all Chiquita farms have been rejuvenated, resulting in higher yields and reduced waste. By rearranging the drainage systems and leveling uneven surfaces on farms, the company has seen a 20 percent increase in productivity with an 80 percent decrease in CaCO3/ha, noted the release. Chiquita has also implemented the use of “cover crops,” which assist in soil erosion and has helped the brand reduce its herbicide use by 36 percent.
In all rejuvenated areas, Chiquita noted it has lowered its plant material waste by over two-thirds compared to non-rejuvenated farms. This rejuvenation process has been a priority for Chiquita since 2015, and the company expects that, by 2022, over 75 percent of its land will be complete.
Chiquita’s commitment to sustainable practices extends past its farms. Earlier this year, the company announced its “30by30” sustainability program, which aims to reduce carbon emissions across brand operations by 30 percent by the end of 2030. With this program, Chiquita became one of the first global fruit companies to be recognized by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi). The brand is working closely with the SBTi to ensure that it is on track to reduce its emissions as planned.
In accordance with the Paris Agreement, Chiquita has set a fully detailed roadmap until 2030 with clear objectives to reduce energy consumption by moving to greener electricity using solar panels and wind turbines, replacing diesel use by switching to biofuels or electric vehicles, and reducing nitrogen emissions from fertilizers. The company has also made it a priority to work closely with its supply chain partners to enable them to develop their own Science Based plan by 2025.
Additionally, Chiquita has received a variety of certifications from environmental organizations such as the Rainforest Alliance and GLOBALG.A.P. for its work to promote biodiversity and sustainable agriculture.
How far will we see Chiquita and other leaders in the industry tackle environmental challenges? Keep reading ANUK as we report.