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Chiquita shares ways in which it helps children and women

Chiquita said that as a global corporate citizen, it is responsible for understanding and addressing its impacts, either direct or indirect, upon people and the planet. This responsibility does not stop at its farm boundary or factory gate: Chiquita has identified women and children as two of its most vulnerable groups of stakeholders and said it is championing human rights initiatives throughout the regions where the brand operates.

Chiquita work on child rights
Chiquita announced it has commissioned the industry’s first child rights impact assessment at its farms in Costa Rica and Panama, working with human rights consultancy, Article One, to adjust UNICEF impact assessment tools for Chiquita ́s operations.

Chiquita has chosen to focus on education, pediatric health and access to play as these aspects are vital to a child’s upbringing and future opportunities.

“We believe that Chiquita’s commitment to child rights exhibits strong leadership amongst its peers in the industry. Globally, agriculture continues to have a high risk of child labor,” said Faris Natour, Co-Founder and Principal of Article One. “We are happy to confirm that we found no evidence of child labor at Chiquita farms in the Costa Rica and Panama farms.”

Empowering women
According to the company, gender equality is a significant challenge on the banana plantations of Latin America and therefore said it has zero tolerance for any violence, discrimination, intimidation and sexual harassment against women.

“At Chiquita, we believe it is vital for all of our employees to feel safe and benefit from the best possible working conditions, free from any harassment,” Jamie Postell, Director of Sales North America for Chiquita. “We want our employees to feel empowered and we are always striving to promote more opportunities for engagement to help us continue to grow in this area.”

Chiquita shared the unique tools it has to safeguard women’s rights and promote opportunities:

• One tool is the company’s helpline system available for all employees 24hours/7days per week/365 days per year for them to report in an anonymous way any discrimination or harassment complaint.

• Another of the main tools Chiquita uses is an IUF-COLSIBA-Chiquita agreement that has been in place since 2001. This agreement, unique in the banana industry, promotes workers’ rights and since 2013 also specifically protects women’s interests.

• A final tool is promoting education and awareness as critical ways in changing the culture. Efforts include women talking to women about their rights in their own language and tackling the challenge of changing male views about women’s rights and sexual harassment.

Chiquita said it is currently analyzing gender pay and opportunity gaps throughout the organization, and aims to have a plan in place to address these by the time of the next 2020 sustainability report.

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