Food safety isn’t optional, Chiquita chief says
BALTIMORE: The top banana from Chiquita Brands International says the company is going back to its roots, with a triple bottom line approach that has moved food safety to the forefront.
In his keynote presentation at the annual Food Safety Summit, Ed Lonergan, chief executive officer for the Charlotte, N.C.-multinational company, said Chiquita’s board never meets without Courtney Parker, the company’s senior vice president for quality and food safety, at the table.
“Courtney’s team has veto power,” Lonergan said. “Food safety is not a competitive advantage. It’s a fact of business, all of our businesses.”
Lonergan said commitment to food safety requires commitment from top management to integrate it into all levels of business, which he said has returned to its core of bananas and packaged salads. “Chiquita’s value chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” he said.
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