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Chiquita seeks to clarify stance on ‘tar sand’ oil

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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4 Comments » for Chiquita seeks to clarify stance on ‘tar sand’ oil
  1. BGrigg says:

    Given Chiquita’s history, including funding paramilitary groups listed on the US State Dept. list of Foreign Terrorist Organization as recently as 2004, they can stuff their bananas. I’m boycotting them regardless of how furiously they back-peddle on the tar sands issue.

  2. Kevin says:

    Once in print a little late to back peddle. Lesson (1) before you put it on paper say exactly what you mean
    (2) Let Chiquita know we as a country can afford to sell elsewhere, America and Chiquita need as many friends and helpas they can get Stop the doublespeak and back peddling admit you blew it with the ridiculous comment and then we may forgive you. We too have had our share of Politicians and business people say one thing and turn around the next day to say they said completely the opposite ?

    Sometimes admitting a mistake and not BACKPEDDLING is better than the 2 STEPSIDESHUFFLE!

  3. Warren Clayton says:

    However they word it, they are working towards the elimination of our product. Whether that is the same as a ban or not, it’s just as harmful. They have to make a firm, clear statement that doesn’t single out any fuel(s). If they don’t want our fuel they would have to swear off electricity from coal fired plants plus fuel from some California, Venezuelan and Nigerian sources which are more intensive emitters of alleged GHGs in the production process. Too bad the truck drivers are caught in the middle of this as well.

  4. SSmyth says:

    They can kiss my business goodbye. Maybe theyd rather buy their oil from the Saudis, I think they hung a woman for “witchcraft” just this past weekend. Maybe they could buy from Mr Chavez or any number of regimes around the world that offers substandard wages in primitive working conditions.
    Me and my family? we’re buying from Dole thanks

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