News: developing markets

December 01, 2000

A better banana, with Chiquita

Chiquita, the world’s largest banana producer, announced on November 16 its participation in the Rainforest Alliance’s Better Banana Project, to reduce use of toxic chemicals, lower pollution and conserve soil and water. Chiquita has spent $20 million over the last eight years to ensure that all its 127 farms in Latin America meet the project’s specifications, and is now extending the guidelines to farms in Africa and Asia. Contact Magnes Welsh, Chiquita, on 00 1 513 784 6325 (

Dam values and consult

Financiers and builders of dams in developing countries must now satisfy five core values before public funding will be granted. The new criteria, which include sustainability, participatory decision-making and accountability, were announced by Nelson Mandela on November 16 at the publication of the World Commission on Dams report. Contact World Bank UK office on 020 7930 8511 (

Exporting new principles

Human rights organisations have criticised new business principles adopted by the UK government’s Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) with effect from January. They follow criticism of ECGD’s role in projects by British companies, such as Balfour Beatty’s in the Ilisu Dam in Turkey. Amnesty International is arguing for mandatory standards on human rights and the environment. Contact ECGD on 020 7512 7000 ( or Amnesty International on 020 7417 6382 (

DFID report on Fair Trade

The UK Department for International Development is predicting demand for fair trade goods will grow in the future, if efforts are made to improve marketing, raise brand awareness and compete more successfully with other brands. DFID’s report, Fair Trade: Overview, Impact, Challenges, sets out the costs and business benefits and shows how companies could adopt fair trade principles more consistently. Contact DFID on 0845 300 4100 (

Starbucks launches fair trade coffee

As of October 4, Fair Trade Certified coffee has been available in Starbucks’ 2,300 networks in United States. The ‘Flavorlock’ brand is the second of two ‘commitment to origins’ coffees which the Seattle-based company offers. Organisations such as TransFair USA, CARE and Conservation International have helped develop the certified label, which guarantees its farmers a premium price. The UK is to be involved during 2001. Contact Starbucks on 00 1 206 447 1575 (

New fair trade chocolate product

The Day Chocolate Company, in which the Ghanaian Kuapa Kokoo co-operative has a 30% stake, has added to its successful ‘Divine’ brand a new product designed by and for children. The Dubble bar came to market on October 2, marketed with Comic Relief which is offering an education pack for children to promote awareness of fair trade issues. Contact Sophi Tranchell, The Day Chocolate Company, on 020 7378 6550 (

Enterprise unit in Johannesburg

The international banking group, Investec, has created a hub to help small business entrepreneurs in Johannesburg’s central business district. The renovated office building, christened The Business Place, will house ten small business tenants, who in turn will provide services for other small businesses. Contact Investec on 00 27 11 286 7000 (

Corporate Citizenship Briefing, issue no: 55 – December, 2000