Bonita Policy on the Environment, Food Safety and the Corporate Social Responsibility of protecting the rights of the worker rests on a foundation of Sustainability.
Sustainability, a term much used in the global agriculture sector, is meeting the needs of the present without sacrificing the needs of the future. Sustainability is the art and science of producing healthy food that preserves the environment, and encourages economic stability and the prosperity of the community now and in the future.
Sustainability is simply a holistic approach to “doing the right thing”. For over half a century Bonita has evolved the practice of Sustainability into a Standard of Excellence in the Ecuadorian banana industry.
THE WORLD BANANA FORUM AND SUSTAINABILITY
The World Banana Forum “is a permanent space of assembly for participants representing the global banana supply-chain to promote open dialogue on challenges facing the banana industry”.
For the first time in the global banana trade, the World Banana Forum brings together “producers, their organizations, trade unions, cooperatives, exporter groups, fresh produce companies, retailers, traders, public agencies, governments,research institutions and civil society organizations”.
The Mission of the World Banana Forum is to provide a collaborative environment that offers the opportunity to produce pragmatic outcomes and an industry-wide consensus on Sustainable Best Practices.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (F.A.O.), Rome, Italy, hosts the Secretariat of The World Banana Forum, through its Trade and Markets Division.
IFS BROKER CERTIFICATION
Leon Van Parys guarantees our clients that our services are managed in a controlled environment. This guarantee is reflected in our IFS Broker Quality System, which is audited by an external organization to ensure its strength.
It is our goal to continuously deliver services that are compliant with the demands of our customers, and naturally comply with the applicable rules and regulations of the legal system. Also taking into account environmental, hygiene-working conditions and ethical aspects.
With the implementation of the IFS Broker Quality System we can manage, control and improve our processes. The system is designed to improve our customer satisfaction and to strive for continuous improvement. The Quality System is built around the different processes, which take place in our company in order to ensure its effectiveness.
The Management Team has taken on the responsibility of determining a mission, vision and strategy, and to ensure that this policy is implemented. The policy consists of a set of guidelines, measures goals and a house culture. This together with our regular client surveys will ensure that we can constantly evaluate our performance and adjust it when needed.
Management will make sure that the necessary means to implement the Quality System are available, and we stress the importance of the involvement of all our employees. We will make sure that everybody lives up the their responsibilities in making this IFS Broker implementation a success story.
For Bonita, life in all of its facets, natural resources and bio-diversity are precious gifts that need to be protected in order to safeguard the balance between man’s need to develop and grow in harmony with his natural surroundings.
Farm-level operations, whether Company owned or long term contracted, relating to chemical and pesticide usage, hydrology, waste disposal, and fertilizer application are in compliance with the applicable Ecuadorian laws, in addition to individual Vendor Codes of Conduct, and, GlobalGap certification requirements.
Environmental audits and re-audits ensure, throughout the Bonita grower network, timely compliance and a review of the evaluation, analysis, and monitoring procedures that are continually updated and improved. These audits are conducted by the Company, Government inspectors, Vendor auditors, and GlobalGap certification teams.
Bonita and GlobalGap have partnered even before 2007 when they were known as EurepGap. GlobalGap is now the world’s most widely implemented production facility audit for establishing and monitoring Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). It is the foundational certification used by retailers with their supplies.
Bonita has the most GlobalGap certified hectacres in Ecuador, and the largest banana production facilities ever certified by GlobalGap.
On-going in-house training programs keep production workers and supervisors focused on their responsibilities towards maintaining the environment. In addition, Bonita offers environmental work-shops to small independent growers to teach them Sustainable best practices.
Agro-Chemical Policy is embedded in the Environmental Policy. The term agro-chemical refers to pesticides, insecticides, infanticides, fungicides, herbicides, fertilizers or compounds of a similar nature that are applied in the field by irrigation, manual application or aerial application.
Bonita policy is to use only the minimum quantity of agro-chemicals required to control each situation. The on-going goal is to seek natural methods of control that will reduce and eventually eliminate the use of agro-chemicals.
All agro-chemicals are stored, handled, and applied in conformity with the recommendations of the manufacturer and stringent Ecuador Ministry of the Environment rules and regulations. In the event that a Vendor Code of Conduct requires different actions, the most strict standard will be implemented.
FOOD SAFETY POLICY
Over the past decade, consumers have shown a growing interest in knowing where their food comes from and how it was produced. Rightly, consumers have begun to take a more active role in demanding, through appropriate legislation, that the food they buy and eat is safe.
At Bonita food safety is the top priority for over 55 years. The five Bonita Food Safety pillars are:
• The front line of pro-active food safety compliance begins with the people.
• Systems that accurately and efficiently trace the product from farm to the consumer.
• Laboratory testing to ensure compliance with Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) market requirements.
• The need to certify the food safety of the product and to eliminate risk of health concerns.
• The Department to communicate to, and dialogue with, the consumer.
Bonita complies with the United States FDA Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, and, the European Union Fresh Produce Traceability Protocol of 2005. These Acts are designed to improve transparency throughout the supply chain to protect against Biosecurity public health concerns.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, is increasingly a topic of concern for how business is conducted. Consumers are now asking not only where the food they eat comes from, but, also who is actually growing and handling this food, and how are they treated. CSR asks that Companies take responsibility for their impact on society.
Bonita Banana and GLOBALG.A.P. GRASP (Globalgap Risk Assessment on Social Practices)
February 4, 2015: Bonita Banana is the first Company to implement GLOBALG.A.P. GRASP in Ecuador
Having the largest Globalgap certified banana production network in Ecuador, which measures GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), Bonita Banana has now begun an on-going GLOBALG.A.P. GRASP implementation process that “assesses social practices on the farms, addressing specific aspects of worker’s health, safety and welfare”. The assurance of a good social management system at farm level is a demonstration of the critical need for transparent corporate social responsibility within the supply chain. GLOBALG.A.P. GRASP verifies compliance with National Labor Laws and International Labor Organization (ILO) core labor standards. The GLOBALG.A.P. GRASP risk assessment was conducted by Bureau Veritas (Ecuador).
Bonita is committed to ensuring the safety and the worker’s rights of all stakeholders involved in the production of the products it sells.
Bonita complies with the laws of Ecuador including, but not limited to, the health and well-being of the worker as mandated by the Ministry of Labor Relations, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and Religious Affairs, Ministry of Public Health, and, Ministry of Agriculture.
Bonita complies with the International Labor Organization Conventions accepted and ratified by the Ecuadorian Government. Compliance highlights include:
- No child labor. No forced labor. No physical abuse.
- The workers right of Freedom of Association.
- The workers right to Collectively Bargain.
- No discrimination is tolerated.
- Compliance with Working Hours and Compensation and Benefits.
- Compliance with Health & Safety laws.
- Compliance with Environmental laws.
Bonita is an Equal Opportunity Employer under Ecuadorian law.