Chiquita Launches Innovative Biodigester in Guapiles, Costa Rica

Costa Rican President Chinchilla Inaugurates Innovation in Sustainable Operations

Aug 28, 2010, 18:57 ET from Chiquita Brands International, Inc.

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) today dedicated its innovative Biodigester system at its Mundimar S.A. facility in Guapiles, Costa Rica.  Joined by Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, senior vice president for government affairs and corporate responsibility officer Manuel Rodriguez spoke about Chiquita's newest effort to promote sustainable operations and carbon neutrality.

"Chiquita's new Biodigester is at the forefront of our global sustainability efforts," said Rodriguez. "This technology enables us to harness the full energy potential of fruit materials that previously could not be captured. It provides a sustainable energy source for our facility, nutrient rich fertilizer for local farmers and filters processing water.  It benefits our company, our communities and our planet. The Biodigester is the latest demonstration of Chiquita's global citizenship and our drive to incorporate sustainability into everything we do."

"For Costa Rica to continue being the environmental leader it has become, and to strengthen our international position as defendants of the environment, we need to work in alliance with the private sector, especially with companies that guarantee clean energy and environmentally friendly industrial processes.  This is why I want to congratulate Chiquita for this new step on the right direction," said Costa Rican President Chinchilla.

Biodigester systems convert organic material into electrical and heat energy as well as produce valuable byproducts such as nutrient rich fertilizers.  Specifically, Chiquita's Biodigester utilizes excess fruit material and processing water from its operations to produce energy that is used by its Guapiles facility and fertilizer for use by local palm producers and farmers.  The unique "gravity utilizing" design of the Biodigester system allows for the circulation of processing water without using electricity, thereby creating a carbon neutral circulation process.

When commissioning the project, Chiquita insisted that the latest sustainable technologies be incorporated to ensure an optimal environmental impact was achieved. The Biodigester was designed by BioSinergia, an innovative company led by two graduates of EARTH University who devote their professional practice to the construction of environmentally sustainable systems.

Since the early 1990s, Chiquita has been a leader and pioneer in sustainable development and corporate social responsibility efforts including water conservation, reduced plastic use, and biodiversity.  Moreover, Chiquita was one of the first seven companies to join in the Costa Rican National Climate Change Strategy and has been a leader in developing globally recognized labor agreements and business practices that incorporate the core conventions of the International Labor Organization.

About Chiquita PFI (Process Fruit Ingredients) Mundimar

Mundimar S.A., established in Guapiles, Costa Rica, is a fully owned subsidiary of Chiquita Brands International, Inc. and a leading global fruit ingredients processor.  The company processes more than 320 million pounds of bananas, pineapples, papayas, passion fruits and mangos used as ingredients by customers in more than 40 countries for the production and commercialization of fruit juices, smoothies, baby food, yogurts, bakery and other food items requiring the incorporation of natural tropical  fruit ingredients.  For more information, please visit

About Chiquita Brands International, Inc.

Chiquita Brands International, Inc. is a leading international marketer and distributor of high-quality fresh and value-added food products – from energy-rich bananas and other fruits to nutritious blends of convenient green salads.  The company markets its healthy, fresh products under the Chiquita® and Fresh Express® premium brands and other related trademarks.  With annual revenues of $3.5 billion, Chiquita employs approximately 21,000 people and has operations in nearly 80 countries worldwide.  For more information, please visit

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SOURCE Chiquita Brands International, Inc.