Chiquita, the famous brand behind many of the bananas in American grocery stores, recently made headlines for something completely unrelated to fruit. The corporation publicly announced that it would do everything in its power to stop buying fuel made from Canadian tar sands oil.
TAKE ACTION: Will you help counteract the Big Oil backlash by sending Chiquita’s CEO a thank-you note? Just click here to send Chiquita a message of thanks for rejecting dirty tar sands oil.
The announcement is just the latest in a string of victories for ForestEthics, an environmental organization running a campaign to expose the health and environmental risks posed by the extraction of tar sands oil.
“Chiquita is joining other companies, cities, farmers, workers and many others in drawing the line at Tar Sands,” said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It shows that new Tar Sands pipelines such as Keystone XL are not needed in America.”
Chiquita accounts for roughly one quarter of the United States’ banana market, and the millions of bananas it sells every day arrive at stores in diesel-fueled and refrigerated heavy-duty vehicles. Chiquita’s action to reduce the use of controversial fuels like those from tar sands is similar to that taken by almost two-dozen major companies, 15 of which have confirmed their action publicly.
And the potential impact of these actions hasn’t been lost on the fossil fuel industry. Ethicaloil.org, a group that advocates for the use of tar sands oil, has called for Canadians to boycott Chiquita bananas and Fresh Express Salads (a sister brand) in response to the company’s announcement.
“As Canadians, we’re not going to take this lying down,” Kathryn Marshall, the group’s spokeswoman, told The Calgary Herald . “This is a serious insult to one of our most important industries.”
The pro-oil sands group says Chiquita’s boycott will cause the company to rely on “conflict oil from some of the world’s most dubious regimes – countries with serious human rights issues like Iran, Saudia Arabia and Venezuela.”
Those opposed to the tar sands know that the best answer is to move away from oil based fuels altogether. But until corporations are willing and able to take that plunge, it’s imperative that they not exacerbate the situation by exploiting the dirtiest and most dangerous sources of oil. And there are human rights issues associated with Canadian tar sands oil as well. In early December, over 60 First Nations, which have been continually marginalized by the Canadian government, publicly united to oppose the transport of tar sands crude oil through their land.
Ultimately, Chiquita’s strong action against toxic fuel from the forest-destroying tar sands will provide all humans with a better quality of life by protecting forests and endangered wildlife, and safeguarding our clean air and fresh water.
TAKE ACTION: Will you help counteract the Big Oil backlash by sending Chiquita’s CEO a thank-you note? Just click here to send Chiquita a message of thanks for rejecting dirty tar sands oil. If you use Twitter, feel free to send the tweet below:
Thanks for taking action in your fuel supply, @FdoAguirreCEO! You’re leading corporate America in the right direction!
Image Credit: Flickr – Dawn Huczek