Chiquita bananas — one of the most recognizable fruit brands worldwide — could be in serious legal trouble. Chiquita is being sued by a consumer who alleges that the company, which claims to be environmentally friendly, is contaminating the local drinking supply in Guatemala, where they grow most of their bananas.
"Chiquita promised its customers it follows 'strict standards' of eco-friendly production including practices that ‘conserve wildlife habitats, national resources, and promote community wellbeing,’ yet its business practices have wreaked havoc on local communities where it grows and harvests its produce," said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, the law company that filed the lawsuit on behalf of plaintiff Justin Jablonowski, in a statement. “Chiquita knew that consumers valued environmentally sound production methods, and used its deceptive marketing to cover up its foul production methods.”
The lawsuit, which was filed in February, claims that Chiquita has failed to disclose that their bananas are produced through methods that contaminate water supplies, and that they have allegedly violated the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the California Unfair Competition Law, and California Common Law in doing so.
This is not the first time that Chiquita has gone to court: in 2013, the brand was sued for allegedly having financial ties to Colombian guerilla paramilitary groups. The case was eventually thrown out by the courts.
The Daily Meal has contacted Chiquita but has not received a response.