Chiquita Bananas

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It is apparent that Chiquita has made efforts to be socially responsible. Visible through their homepage which highlights social responsibility, sustainability, innovation, and community involvement as it key public strategies. However, cooperating with eco-warriors, social activists and unions has come to little avail for the international Banana supplier. While trying to improve their social reputation, Chiquita’s competition has been outselling their product to retailers; retailers are not recognizing Chiquita’s efforts as being beneficial to their store. Chiquita can engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and realize benefits, however they must re-conceive their values and what it means to be socially responsible.

Part of the problem is Chiquita was not founded on the social responsibility they promote today. They openly admitted to paying protection money to Columbian paramilitary surrounding it’s plantations; demonstrating they operated plantations that knowingly placed employees in a hostile environment. Further they were supporting a terrorist group in the process. They have recently bolted-on a reputation building strategy of becoming a more environmentally and socially friendly organization. The problem is, Chiquita is a wholesale company which relies on its retailers to buy and distribute their products. The retailers seem to take no mind in Chiquita’s green-movement efforts and continue to purchase the less eco-friendly competitor brands. Perhaps if Chiquita were to narrow their scope of how they are positively impacting their environment they would be able to draw the attention of retailers. Instead of signing agreements with social activists as an attempt to be viewed better, they could set specific goals they would like to meet throughout the organization. These goals should be directly related to their business model as opposed to after-thoughts. Doing so would give employees at all levels a goal to work towards, context in which to...
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