Chiquita Announces Expanded Partnership for San San Pond Sak Biodiversity ProjectBy Chiquita Brands International Inc., PRNE
Thursday, March 4, 2010
New Public Partners Provide New Resources and Further Strengthen Sustainability Project
CINCINNATI, March 5, 2010 - Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) today announced an
expanded partnership for its San San Pond Sak biodiversity project located in
the border region of Panama and Costa Rica. The German government development
corporation GTZ and the Costa Rican banana industry body CORBANA have joined
with Chiquita, local authorities and German retailer REWE to support this
existing and thriving sustainability project.
"Chiquita is committed to supporting important environmental
sustainability projects wherever we operate," said Fernando Aguirre, chairman
and chief executive officer. "The addition of GTZ and CORBANA to our San San
Pond Sak biodiversity project will further strengthen our sustainability
efforts. We are especially pleased to expand our alliance in 2010 as the
United Nations has designated it the International Year of Biodiversity.
Environmental sustainability is a wise investment in the future and is a duty
we have as global citizens."
In 2008, Chiquita and REWE signed a partnership agreement to jointly
protect endangered habitats and species in the protected wetlands of the San
San Pond Sak reserve, situated close to Chiquita's banana farms in Panama and
Costa Rica. Subsequently, in June of 2009, Chiquita and REWE planted the
first tree on a 130 hectare property donated by the two companies.
Today, at a ceremony on the banks of the San San River, Chiquita, REWE,
GTZ and CORBANA formalized their agreement to protect biodiversity and work
with communities and local public agencies in the coastal regions of Bocas
(Panama) and Sixaola (Costa Rica), on both sides of the Panama-Costa Rica
border. This public-private partnership is based on the conviction that the
exceptional biodiversity of the region can only be preserved for future
generations if communities, companies and farmers, civil society
organizations and governmental institutions work together.
The expanded alliance is formalized in a 3-year public-private
partnership committed to biodiversity, environmental education, community
development, new income sources for inhabitants (including a special focus on
women and indigenous communities), and becoming a model of international
cooperation. GTZ provides an important source of funding and expertise,
whereas CORBANA represents one of Costa Rica's most important agricultural
activities, and has farms and forest properties close to the Panamanian
border in the Sixaola region. In making this commitment, the partners are
contributing to a conservation initiative supported by the governments of the
region, the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.
Today, in a joint communique, the partners declared, "We, the signatories
of this public private agreement, are delighted to have this opportunity to
contribute with our skills and resources to an initiative which we hope will
be of lasting benefit to the people and the environment of this beautiful
region. We cordially invite all interested parties to join us in this
endeavor. We consider it our privilege and duty to work closely with local
communities, private and public institutions, governmental authorities, and
all those who share our objectives."
Chiquita currently also sponsors a similar biodiversity project in Nogal,
Costa Rica. More information about the projects can be found at
www.tropenprojekt-panama.de and www.nogalproject.ch.
About Chiquita Brands International, Inc.
Chiquita Brands International, Inc. is a leading international marketer
and distributor of high-quality fresh and value-added food products - from
energy-rich bananas and other fruits to nutritious blends of convenient green
salads. The company markets its healthy, fresh products under the Chiquita(R)
and Fresh Express(R) premium brands and other related trademarks. With annual
revenues of US$3.5 billion, Chiquita employs approximately 21,000 people and
has operations in nearly 80 countries worldwide. For more information, please
Ed Loyd, +1-513-784-8935, eloyd at chiquita.com, Andrew Ciafardini, +1-513-784-8547, aciafardini at chiquita.com, both of Chiquita Brands
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