Chiquita has a total of 60 packing stations on the farms it owns, and more of those stations are being converted to include the water recycling system, Loyd said.
“Work is proceeding to optimize the system’s design and performance in a variety of conditions, to determine the future rate of conversions,” he said.
Water recycling, protecting groundwater resources and avoiding contamination of water recourses all are important principles of sustainability found in the standards of the Rainforest Alliance, Loyd said.
All of Chiquita’s company-owned farms in Latin America have been certified by that New York-based nonprofit since 2000.
According to a case study about Chiquita on its website, the Rainforest Alliance said Chiquita has invested more than $20 million to improve facilities and infrastructures since starting the certification process in 1992.
Those improvements include reforesting about 2,500 acres by planting 1 million trees and bushes; setting aside more than 2,000 additional acres for forest regeneration; recycling or reusing nearly 80% of the plastic bags and twine used on company farms, or roughly 3,000 metric tons per year; and upgrading working conditions.