November 2018: Chiquita sticks with Hueneme, signing a long-term contract with the Port. The new contract builds on their thriving business relationship which began in 2004.
Oxnard Harbor District President Mary Anne Rooney stated, “We are proud to have Chiquita continue to call Port of Hueneme home again as a customer for another eleven years. Their investment in our community strengthens the economic opportunity provided to our residents. When they succeed, we all succeed!”
Chiquita imports enough bananas to encompass the globe six times every year through the Port of Hueneme. These bananas then head to their distribution center in downtown Oxnard. Impressively, the bananas find their way to 13 western states, providing potassium and a delicious snack to millions of Americans every day.
“Our company provides direct jobs to the City of Oxnard, in addition to the hundreds of related and induced jobs which include: truck drivers, longshoremen, freight forwarders, stevedores, managers, expeditors, retailers and Ag inspectors,” said Chiquita Oxnard Facility Manager Nives de Luca. “We congratulate the Port of Hueneme on their investments to upgrade the Port’s infrastructure and equipment, allowing the Port to increase productivity and efficiency to better service the growing container trade through this niche port and community.”
Chiquita takes investing in the local community seriously. For example, they provide free bananas and sponsorship at the Port’s annual Banana Festival, donate hundreds of thousands of bananas a year to Food Share, and selflessly contribute bananas to local non-profits and charities for their events.
Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director stated, “Chiquita is a pillar of our local community, their presence here has a ripple effect that touches every person in our region through direct and indirect job creation and charitable activities. I look forward to seeing them continue to thrive at our Port as a top customer and community partner.”
Recently across the globe, over 200 million Chiquita bananas featured the pink ribbon sticker to increase awareness of cancer prevention in partnership with the American Cancer Society.
This fall, Chiquita joined forces with the Port and the ILWU in the “Fill the Container Challenge,” a humanitarian effort to collect new and gently used school supplies, clothing, wheelchairs, and children’s toys to ship down to the school children in Guatemala. Chiquita generously donated the use of their shipping container and has committed to shipping it on their vessel down to the Port of Quetzal, Guatemala. Upon its arrival, as part of a humanitarian and business driven trade mission, Port of Hueneme officials will greet the container and escort it directly to the school children in need.
“As the Oxnard Harbor District celebrates a high point in our cargo history, we cannot enjoy our prosperity while others struggle, especially those that we are able to help and are the most vulnerable,” said Oxnard Harbor District Vice President Jess Herrera. “We feel our social responsibility requires that we be part of a humanitarian effort providing underprivileged children in Guatemala with educational and basic supplies, in the hope that this effort will in a small way improve their lives.”