Fort Lauderdale, FL – For the 12th consecutive year, the Blue Flag Ecological Program has honored Chiquita with an award in its Natural Spaces category, highlighting the brand’s environmental efforts within the Nogal Nature and Community Reserve in Costa Rica. This program is overseen by several Costa Rican authorities and encourages protection of the environmental and social landscapes across the country. To obtain this award, organizations are required to meet a high standard of evaluation in areas such as efficient energy use, waste management, water quality, use of organic and biodegradable elements and more, all of which ladder up to Chiquita’s commitment to sustainability.
Nogal is located within the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor in Central America, which is the third largest biodiversity hot spot in the world. With a goal of protecting and enhancing biodiversity in this flourishing community, Chiquita and a portion of its clients established the Nogal reserve in 2004. Throughout the years, Chiquita and its partners have implemented a variety of sustainability initiatives to support both the wildlife and local community members within Nogal’s 257 acres of land.
“Chiquita is honored to receive the Blue Flag Award for the 12th year in a row, which reinforces our overall commitment to promoting biodiversity across all operations,” said Raul Gigena Pazos, Human Resources and Sustainability Director for Chiquita. “As a leader in the produce industry, we recognize our responsibility to act as a ‘Good Neighbor’ to the farming communities in which we cultivate our bananas, and hope to act as a positive example of responsible production for others to follow.”
Chiquita’s key areas of focus at Nogal include: protecting the 720 plant and 339 vertebrate animal species within the reserve, promoting reforestation to create safe shelter for wildlife and protect against natural disasters, and to support the community by providing educational programs and expanding infrastructure to meet the needs of local community members. The brand has helped discover new species, plant more than 20,000 trees, provide education to more than 30,000 students and farmers and help build a school cafeteria, open air gym and library with community internet access.
Chiquita’s efforts in Nogal contribute to the brand’s overarching ‘Behind the Blue Sticker’ approach. This approach, embedded in all operations, embraces partnerships with key organizations to promote sustainability and environmentally friendly practices from the farms where Chiquita grows its bananas all the way to grocery store shelves.
To learn more about Chiquita’s environmental efforts, download the brand’s updated sustainability report here.