RCC Ruling on Chiquita "climate neutral bananas"
Jurisdiction: Reclame Code Commissie (Advertising Code Committee)
Side A: Anonymous Party
Side B: Chiquita (Corporation)
Core objectives: Wether Chiquita's advertising of its bananas as 'CO2 neutral' was misleading
SummaryThe contested advertising concerned a sticker on Chiquita's bananas which included the statement "CO2 Neutral".
The complaint alleged that Chiquita's "CO2 Neutral" claim was not true. Several statements were pointed out on Chiquita's website which referred to CO2 emission reduction by 30 per cent by the end of 2030.
The Commission found the sticker on the bananas with the claim "CO2 Neutral" to be misleading pursuant to article 2 of the Code for Environmental Advertising (MRC), as it did not contain any reference to information about the interpretation of this claim. Because any context was lacking, the meaning of this claim was unclear to the average consumer. The Committee noted that the meaning of the environmental claim had had to be made clear in the advertisement. The Committee found it insufficient that the meaning of "CO2 Neutral" was clarified on a separate website. It also noted that the mere mention of a website was insufficient to make the meaning of the claim clear.
Because the claims were not admissible on the basis of the foregoing, the Committee did not have to examine the question whether Chiquita was able to demonstrate the correctness of its absolute environmental claim pursuant to article 3 MRC. However, the Committee did refer to the strict standards set out in previous rulings.