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Friday, January 6, 2012

Careful Now, Chiquita

Chiquita Brand is the worlds largest supplier of Bananas. Chiquita Brand has an enormous bank of capital resources; large enough to attempt a fiscal war with the multi billion dollar Canadian Oil Sands project. Chiquita Bananas ironically is defaming the Canadian Oil sands as an unethical venture. Chiquita brands is boisterously boycotting the canadian oil sands. The company stated that they would no longer use canadian oil. Unfortunately for Chiquita, you can't shop for oil the same was as you can for food. When you fuel up the oil in any given tank is a commercial mixture, making it difficult to trace the origins of the fuel. In addition the extensive pipe lines used to transport North American oil are a cleaner and less energy intensive shipping method. Chiquita's desire to only use middle eastern oil is a hypocritical and energy intensive unrealistic initiative.

Chiquita's animosity towards the Canadian Oil Sands is an attempt from Chiquita to reinvent their brand as environmentally and communally sound. The only problem with Chiquita's new brand strategy is the massive continuity discrepancies between Chiquita Brands public relation strategy and their actual business practices. Chiquita Bananas is an empire built on controversy and has been awarded multiple times by Forbes magazine as one of the worst multi-national companies.

Chiquita Bananas unethical business practices begins with a cartel of fruit trade. Chiquita secretly owns dozens of "supposedly" independent banana and fruit companies. Chiquita has a cost leadership strategy, in an attempt to keep trade prices low and profits high, Chiquita will use dangerous pesticides that often burn plantation workers skins. These pesticides often penetrate past the banana peel and into the flesh of the fruit. Since 1980 Banana, a fruit protected by it's thick peel, has been climbing it's way up the list of dirty fruits and vegetables. The pesticides that Chiquita Bananas use threaten the health of it's workers, and nearby communities.

The pesticides that Chiquita uses in South and Central America have long been banned in Canada, The EU and The United States. The cost leadership production strategy of Chiquita does not coincide with the companies "declaration" of only supporting drilled oil. The production and shipping costs of the oil favored by Chiquita far surpasses that of the oil sands. In addition, I believe that Chiquita's boycott of Canadian oil is rooted in a much deeper and unethical monopolistic endeavor.

Chiquita Brand, and Chiquita executives in 1998 were involved in a drug and weapon trade in Columbia.The actions of Chiquita were halted by the SEC. Two senior executives were forced to retire as a result. The company was forced to restructure their brand and brand affiliations. In 2011 a BBC investigation discovered that the restructured parent company of Chiquita still engaged in terrorism activities. Chiquita Brand is one of the largest cocaine smugglers into Canada, Europe, and The US. In 2008, Authorities seized a metric ton of pure cocaine (worth over $33 million dollars). The 2008 Chiquita drug bust was not the first for Chiquita. In 1998 a similar amount of cocaine was seized coming in to Europe, and in the 1980's Chiquita was busted for smuggling drugs through a Texas border.

Chiquita Brand employees military guards and slave labour to work the fields. The military guards use brute force to manage fruit pickers. Chiquita Bananas is not an eco friendly or community driven organization. The company in a multi billion dollar fruit trading company with a history of unethical, and illegal business practices. In 2007 Chiquita was accused of trading death for profits. 

Why Chiquita would boycott the oil sands in beyond me. In my opinion Chiquita in only putting gas on the fire of their consumer volatile brand. The amount of controversial and eco-terrorism arguments that can be used against the brand surpasses that of the Oil Sands. In a time of unlimited information; consumer have an increased ability to spot the inconstancy of a brand or product. These discrepancy can easily wreak havoc on any organization.

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