Chiquita seeks to clarify stance on ‘tar sand’ oil
December 22, 2011
TORONTO, Ont. -- Chiquita Brands has told the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) it never demanded its transportation suppliers to stop using fuel derived from the Canadian oil sands, even as its environmental partner ForestEthics wages a PR war...
TORONTO, Ont. — Chiquita Brands has told the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) it never demanded its transportation suppliers to stop using fuel derived from the Canadian oil sands, even as its environmental partner ForestEthics wages a PR war against banana rival Dole for failing to take a stand against oil from Canada’s ‘tar sands.’
In a letter to the CTA, Chiquita Brands’ Manuel Rodriguez, senior v.p. of government and international affairs and corporate responsibility, said “Press reports have inaccurately stated that we have boycotted or banned Canadian oil. What we have stated is our goal to … reduce our carbon footprint. To achieve this, Chiquita is also taking advantage of opportunities to reduce its consumption of petroleum, through increased vehicle efficiency, use of alternative fuels, and reduced vehicle usage. With regard to our fuel usage in particular, we have encouraged our suppliers to source, where possible, various fuel sources that have a lower carbon footprint and commit to a strategy of continuous improvement.”
That was a softer tone than a letter Chiquita filed to ForestEthics, which reads in part: “We are committed to directing our transportation providers to avoid, where possible, fuels from tar sands refineries and to adopt a strategy of continuous improvement towards the elimination of those fuels. We have recently confirmed this policy with our company’s providers through an RFP process to ensure that this fuel is not being used for ground trucking transportation.” The letter also said the company would work with ForestEthics to identify the fuel providers of its private and third-party truck fleets and “work with ForestEthics to identify any connections between Chiquita’s fuel providers and tar sands refineries towards the goal of eliminating fuel from these providers that is connected with tar sands refineries.”
Does that sound like a ban? Decide for yourself. The full letter can be downloaded in the Documents section on the right-hand side of this Web page. The CTA’s David Bradley said for now, he’s satisfied with Chiquita’s response.
“We will have further follow-up with Chiquita’s supply chain operations staff, but the company’s response suggests that no embargo on oil sands based fuel is or will be put in place,” he said.
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