This distinction is the result of Chiquita’s many years of dedication to sustaining Rainforest Alliance certification on its own farms and on producers’ farms in Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia. Chiquita’s SA8000 certifications and agreements with global and local trade unions also played a role in this recognition, as did the company’s initiative to join with REWE Group, GIZ (German government’s development corporation) and CORBANA (federation of Costa Rican banana producers) in the Changuinola-Sixaola (San-San) Biodiversity Partnership.
The PRO PLANET label is an important component of the REWE Group’s company-wide sustainability strategy. To establish an authentic and transparent process, REWE Group included various stakeholders in the development of PRO PLANET. For the implementation of PRO PLANET projects, REWE Group collaborates with external experts. An independent expert advisory board accompanies the entire process:
- Bernward Geier, Chairman of the PRO PLANET advisory board and sustainability expert
- Georg Abel, Die Verbraucher Initiative e.V., German consumer organization
- Dr. Klaus Kastenhofer, sustainability expert and medical scientist
- Dr. Oliver Müller, Caritas International, social NGO
- Jörg-Andreas Krüger, Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V., German environmental NGO
“This award is not only a recognition of the good work of the selected suppliers but also an invitation to continue to improve their social and environmental performance,” said Guido Siebenmorgen, head of Strategic Procurement Food 2 of REWE Group. “We are delighted that Chiquita has received this label after thorough consideration by our expert advisory board.”
Chiquita’s Brian Kocher, at the time President of Europe and Middle East (Chief Operating Officer since 2012), commented: “This award marks a special moment in our long business relationship with the REWE Group. This distinction challenges us to work hard to continue improving the social and environmental conditions wherever Chiquita bananas are farmed and shipped.”
About REWE Group
The cooperative REWE Group is one of the leading trade and tourism groups in Germany and Europe. In 2012, the company generated a total external turnover in excess of 50 billion euros. The REWE Group, founded in 1927, operates around 15,500 stores with 327,000 employees in 13 European countries. In 2012, around 226,000 employees generated turnover totaling 36 billion euros in over 11,000 stores in Germany. The sales lines include REWE, REWE CENTER, REWE CITY, toom and BILLA supermarkets and consumer stores, the discounter PENNY, the toom DIY stores and B1 Discount DIY stores as well as ProMarkt consumer electronic stores. Travel and Tourism includes the tour operators ITS, Jahn Reisen and Tjaereborg plus Dertour, Meier’s Weltreisen and ADAC Reisen and the business travel division FCm Travel Solutions and about 2,100 travel agencies (e.g. Atlas Reisen, DER Reisebüro, DERPART).
Links & References
SAI Website: Chiquita’s SA8000 Certification
CORBANA Website: Changuinola Biodiversity Partnership