Chiquita has announced the release of an innovative biodigester in Costa Rica that will improve fertilizer, reduce energy consumption, and provide a sustainable energy source for its operations. The company behind the famous blue and yellow sticker found on your bananas and pineapples (along with their newly introduced green Rainforest Alliance sticker) is at work on a wide-sweeping sustainability plan.
Corporate Responsibility Officer, Manuel Rodriguez, states, "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."
Echoing Green Award recipient, AIDG (Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group) says of biodigesters, "As waste is processed in a biodigester, it is sterilized by methane-producing bacteria and the high-methane environment; over 90% of protozoa, cysts and disease-causing bacteria, such as E. Coli, are killed." According to AIDG, biodigesters don't function too well in colder climates, which won't be a problem in Costa Rica.
The Chiquita biodigester has essentially created a "carbon neutral circulation process," according to the press release, by taking extra fruit material and excess water from its operations that is then used by their facilities and local farmers. And no electricity is used, in what they call a "unique gravity utilizing design."
[Image via Andy Robinson]