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Chiquita Brands International, Inc: Chiquita Publishes Corporate Social Responsibility Report


August 29, 2013 - London

CHIQUITA PUBLISHES CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

Targets reductions of 15 percent in fresh water usage and 30 percent in carbon emissions by 2020 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - August 29, 2013 - Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) today announced the publication of its 2009-2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Report: Our Renewed Purpose, which details Chiquita's environmental and sustainability initiatives, community activities, culture  and training initiatives and quality and food safety programs. In addition, the report highlights Chiquita's collaborations and partnerships, including 20 years of sustained work with the Rainforest Alliance.

The multimedia report details four key areas of priority for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives: sustainability with a 2020 target of reducing fresh water usage 15 percent and carbon emissions 30 percent from a 2007 baseline, responsible sourcing, employee training programs, and collaboration with external stakeholders. Through these program areas, Chiquita strives to create positive change in the communities in which it does business and to develop its workforce.

"Investing in our communities with creativity through environmental initiatives, employee volunteerism and partnerships is at the core of our purpose and values," said Ed Lonergan, Chiquita's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our team members have innovated, developed and embraced a multitude of partnerships, collaborations and local initiatives that have empowered local communities and delivered meaningful improvements to our company. We are proud to provide this report on our progress, as well as to outline the areas where we have more work to achieve in the years ahead."

Highlights from the report include:

  • Substantial improvements in the conditions impacting the occupational health and safety of employees and contractors through safety programs such as Target Zero and a focus on employee engagement:
    •  Latin American operations achieved a 62 percent reduction in health and safety incident rates between 2008 and 2012. North American operations achieved a 12 percent reduction in health and safety incidents rates in 2012 compared to 2008, and 40 percent since 2002. Launch of the Live Chiquita! initiative in 2011, including a volunteer time off program that enables employees to devote time each year to work on community projects, many related to sustainability.
  • The formation in 2011 of the first Women's Committee in the banana industry as part of a joint effort with the International Union of Foodworkers and COLSIBA, the most comprehensive global and regional banana unions, respectively.
  • Twenty years of sustained collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance, one of the longest relationships between a company and a non-governmental organization. Today, Chiquita sources bananas from 40,000 hectares of Rainforest Alliance certified banana farms that include all of Chiquita's owned operations and more than 200 local growers that supply Chiquita.
  • A carbon footprint analysis undertaken with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) into the greenhouse gas emissions from every phase of banana production and transportation, identifying the greatest opportunities to reduce emissions.
  • A detailed water risk assessment developed jointly with the World Wildlife Fund International of agricultural operations in banana production in Latin America, as well as of lettuce in the western U.S.
  • Use of the GAIN(TM) tool to reduce use of irrigation water and nitrogen while maintaining lettuce yield and quality. Commercial-scale field trials in the Salinas and Imperial Valleys have shown reductions of irrigation water use of up to 15 percent and of nutrient fertilizer application of up to 50 percent.
  • Certification of all Fresh Express salad manufacturing facilities under Food Safety Certification 22000 (FSSC 22000) since 2010.
  • Biodiversity partnerships with governments, customers and local organizations that are contributing to the conservation of exceptional biodiversity, including the Nogal Nature and Community Project in Costa Rica and San San Pond Sak in Panama.

"Looking back on our initiatives, achieving Rainforest Alliance certification was a turning point that not only transformed our farms and production practices but also planted a seed of environmental and social responsibility in the minds of thousands of men and women working in banana production," added Manuel Rodríguez, Chiquita's Senior Vice President for Governmental & International Affairs and Corporate Responsibility Officer. "CSR and sustainability have become an integral part of our operations and a source of pride for our employees who make all that we do possible. Looking forward, we will report on our progress annually."

Read Chiquita's 2009-2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, here. For more information about Chiquita's commitment to the community, visit www.chiquita.com/The-Chiquita-Difference.aspx.

Contacts:

Steve Himes, 980-636-5636, shimes@chiquita.com, (Investors & Analysts)
Ed Loyd, 980-636-5145, eloyd@chiquita.com, (Media)

ABOUT CHIQUITA BRANDS INTERNATIONAL, INC.

Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB) is a leading international marketer and distributor of nutritious, high-quality fresh and value-added food products - from energy-rich bananas, blends of convenient green salads, other fruits to healthy snacking products. The company markets its healthy, fresh products under the Chiquita® and Fresh Express® premium brands and other related trademarks. With annual revenues of more than $3 billion, Chiquita employs approximately 20,000 people and has operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.chiquita.com/.

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Source: Chiquita Brands International, Inc via Thomson Reuters ONE

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