FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - The Blue Flag Ecological Program has honored Chiquita with an award in its Natural Spaces category, highlighting the brand’s environmental efforts within the Nogal Nature and Community Reserve in Costa Rica. 

This program is overseen by several Costa Rican authorities and encourages protection of the environmental and social landscapes across the country. To obtain the award, organizations are required to meet a high standard of evaluation in areas such as efficient energy use, waste management, water quality, use of organic and biodegradable elements and more. 

“Chiquita is honored to receive the Blue Flag Award for the 12th year in a row, which reinforces our overall commitment to promoting biodiversity across all operations,” said Raul Gigena Pazos, human resources and sustainability director for Chiquita. “As a leader in the produce industry, we recognize our responsibility to act as a ‘Good Neighbor’ to the farming communities in which we cultivate our bananas, and hope to act as a positive example of responsible production for others to follow.” 

Chiquita’s key areas of focus at Nogal include: protecting the 720 plant and 339 vertebrate animal species within the reserve, promoting reforestation to create safe shelter for wildlife and protect against natural disasters, and to support the community by providing educational programs and expanding infrastructure to meet the needs of local community members.  

The brand has helped discover new species, plant more than 20,000 trees, provide education to more than 30,000 students and farmers and help build a school cafeteria, open air gym and library with community internet access.