Transparency in the Supply Chain and Modern Slavery
2017 STATEMENT OF ACTIONS ON
TRANSPARENCY IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN
Chiquita Holdings Limited and its affiliated companies ("Chiquita"), do not tolerate slavery or human trafficking and Chiquita has strong policies that it applies throughout its supply chains - both to its worldwide operations and its dealings with suppliers.
Chiquita is a leading international marketer and distributor of (1) bananas and pineapples sold worldwide under the Chiquita® and other brand names (referred to below as Chiquita Bananas) and (2) packaged salads sold primarily in the United States under the Fresh Express® and other brand names (referred to below as Fresh Express).
In compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 and the United Kingdom Modern Slavery Act of 2015, and in an effort to identify and help to eradicate slavery and human trafficking, Chiquita takes appropriate steps to ensure that its supply chains are free from such practices.
Considering their very different supply chains, Chiquita’s 2 main businesses must be considered separately for these purposes.
Chiquita Bananas’ supply chain supports bringing our products from the farm to the consumer. A large proportion of Chiquita Bananas’ products are grown on Chiquita’s own farms, with some being purchased from long-term partner growers and a smaller amount on the open/spot market as needed.
Firstly, Chiquita Bananas engages in the verification of its supply chains to evaluate and address risks of human trafficking and slavery through a variety of means, for example:
- Agreements with Chiquita Bananas' suppliers typically require suppliers to certify that they do not use child labor, they do not use forced or mandatory labor, they do not violate workers' rights of free association and collective bargaining, and that materials comply with all applicable laws regarding slavery and human trafficking. Chiquita Bananas is regularly undertaking a review of supplier’s contracts, and formulating a plan to ensure such prohibitions are included in all supplier agreements.
- Chiquita Bananas' Sourcing Strategy, applicable to its vendors and suppliers, requires those entities to self-verify that employees are free to leave their workplace after their scheduled work hours and are free to terminate their employment after reasonable notice.
- Chiquita Bananas' Code of Conduct is incorporated into contracts with vendors and suppliers and demands compliance with International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions 29 and 104 prohibiting the use of forced labor and slavery. Through these yearly contractual agreements our suppliers certify that they are in compliance with laws regarding slavery and human trafficking in their respective countries.
- All Chiquita–owned farms are certified SA8000 as being compliant with anti-slavery and forced labor provisions. Chiquita is the only group in the banana industry to have all its farms certified SA 8000. SA8000, developed by Social Accountability International, provides standards based on national laws, international human rights norms, and the conventions of the ILO. All Chiquita–owned farms and an increasing number of Chiquita Bananas' independent banana and pineapple growers are certified by the Rainforest Alliance. The Rainforest Alliance is an international, non-profit, environmental organization whose mission includes promoting worker welfare and community wellbeing. Compliance with the International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions and the UN Declaration of Human Rights is mandatory. These standards include a strict prohibition against use of forced labor. Chiquita -owned farms and many banana and pineapple growers are regularly audited by Rainforest Alliance and SA 8000 authorized independent auditors.
Secondly, our standard grower contracts give Chiquita Bananas the right whenever it deems necessary, to carry out facility and/or farm inspections, to evaluate supplier or grower compliance with company standards which includes standard for trafficking and slavery in supply chains. These audits may be conducted by either Chiquita Bananas or a third party.
Thirdly, Chiquita Bananas requires suppliers to certify that materials incorporated into the product comply with laws regarding slavery and human trafficking of the country or countries in which they are doing business. As is outlined above, agreements with those suppliers require them to certify that they comply with those laws; vendors and suppliers must certify that employees are free to leave the workplace after scheduled work hours and may terminate their employment with reasonable notice; and Chiquita Bananas’ Code of Conduct prohibition of using forced labor and slavery is incorporated into all vendor and supplier contracts.
Fourthly, Chiquita Bananas maintains internal accountability standards and procedures for employees and contractors failing to meet company standards regarding prohibition against slavery and trafficking. If suppliers/contractors violate Chiquita Bananas' Code of Conduct in this regard, Chiquita Bananas is entitled to suspend its purchases of goods or services from that supplier/contractor. Chiquita maintains a zero-tolerance policy for violations of Chiquita's standards regarding prohibiting slavery and human trafficking by its employees.
Finally, Chiquita Bananas provides regular training to all company employees and management who have direct responsibility for supply chain management. The latest course was provided in 2016 and included information on human trafficking and slavery and recognizing and mitigating risks within the supply chains.
The need to evaluate and address the risks of human trafficking and slavery in our product supply chain has long been part of our commitment to Corporate Responsibility and will remain a critical aspect of our supplier management.
More information on our global operations and commitments can be found in our Sustainability Report issued this year which may be downloaded at http://www.chiquita.com
Along with the rest of the Chiquita group, Fresh Express does not tolerate the practices of human trafficking or slavery. The risk of slavery or human trafficking in the Fresh Express supply chains is considered much lower than for the Chiquita Bananas business as Fresh Express’s products are primarily sourced from suppliers in the United States where, according to the global slavery index, the risk of slavery is accepted to be low. Therefore, the steps to ensure that slavery or human trafficking is not present in the supply chains do not need to be as stringent as is the case for Chiquita Bananas.
Fresh Express requires in its contracts that its suppliers comply with all laws, including anti-slavery and human trafficking laws. The suppliers, when signing a contract with Fresh Express, warrant that it is in compliance with the law and any failure to comply results in a breach of contract and violation of the law. The contracts allow for an audit of the supplier’s performance standards, which includes compliance with all laws and regulations including those covering trafficking and slavery.
Fresh Express sources its materials and product from reputable companies with high standards.
These high standards and requirements regarding the prohibition of human trafficking and slavery in our product supply chain are a part of our commitment to deliver quality products to our customers.