“Historically, the banana trade symbolized economic imperialism, injustices in the global trade market, and the exploitation of agriculture-dependent third-world countries”(2). However, they remain to be one of the most profitable items in grocery stores. Making bananas crucial to economic and global food stability for countries all over the world. They are the third largest staple crop, coming only after wheat and coffee. Since bananas are such a sought after fruit, many companies have gone to extensive lengths in the to fight for a share of the market. Chiquita Brands International was one of the pioneer companies to try and globalize bananas. They took a risk and made some very critical mistakes along the way.
Throughout the past
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In thinking about competition, it was important for him to know his competitors and their past experience in the banana trade. They were know as ‘The Big Three,’ it included Dole, Del Monte, and Chiquita. Dole reported US$6.9 billion of revenue in 2007 and was known to be “the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables”(5). Del Monte was also one of the U.S.’s largest producers, distributors, and marketers of food in retail markets. And according to the case brief, they generated approximately US$3.4 billion in sales during 2007. Most importantly, Chiquita was founded in 1899 and was the largest employer in Latin America for many years. Skipping forward to 2007, in order to rank it next to its competitors, it had grown to be the largest distributor of bananas in the U.S. and was making US$4.7 billion of revenue. These three companies set the stage for a very competitive marketplace.
Despite the fact that all three of these power companies were fighting for the biggest share of the banana industry, Chiquita ended up being the one to get slammed with the most repercussions. Following the Justice Departments investigation and trials that began in 2004, “Chiquita signed a plea agreement that gave them the dubious distinction of being the first major U.S. company once convicted of dealing with terrorists, and resulted in a fine of US$25 million,” along with other various penalties. In order to move