Even today, the taint of international scandal dogs the bananas in our supermarkets. The ultimate goal in the acquisition of a contract was to control the process from production to distribution of the bananas. Most of the responsible public officials whom we systematically inter- viewed spoke in generally favorable terms of the company's current standard of conduct. This was not exposed until years later, when the United Fruit Company took possession of almost all the lands in Guatemala. The growth of United Fruit in a period of less than 60 years has been remarkable. In certain divisions, where much of the land is actually lower than the rivers, a network of huge drainage canals must be dug from the plantations to the ocean 10 to 20 miles away. The cartons generally have printed instructions telling the consumer how to recognize the deep yellow shade with a speckling of small brown dots that signifies the stage when the banana may be eaten with maximum enjoyment and nutrition, as well as giving recipe suggestions for its use in cooking, in salads, or with cereals.
United Fruit also managed to exempt itself from virtually all taxes for 99 years. He can own and operate his own reefer fleet; he can charter his required tonnage of refrigerator ships from independent ship operators, thus shifting a heavy capital invest- ment requirement to other shoulders; or he can combine the two alternatives. There are no illustrations or indexes. At one time in Costa Rica, the national budget was not as large as that of the com- pany. Since bananas are a virtually seedless crop, and there is no wood structure to make grafting experiments feasible, banana genetics are of an almost unique order of difficulty.
First Vice President and Director Minor C. In the hope that this report might contribute to the methodology of studying an important field, in addition to throwing light upon one company's operations abroad, we have tried to employ objective measurement to the greatest practicable degree and to spell out sources and procedures that might be useful to others embarking upon com- parable undertakings. It has been our endeavor to look at the record through two-lensed spectacles. It seems quite likely that mist spraying from helicopters or fixed-wing planes will replace pipe-spray installations as the standard procedure. But such a comparison is obviously spurious. The company is well known for having meddled in Latin America's development - a fact that is not historically seen in a positive light. After Guzman fled to Cuba, Colonel Castillo Armas rose to the presidency.
For the United Fruit Company is surely one of the most important examples extant of international investment based on agriculture. Chief of these writings are two Hindu epics, the Mahabharata, the work of an unknown author, and the Ramayana of the poet Valmiki, and there also are references in certain sacred Buddhist texts. In 1904, the Tropical Fruit Steamship Company, Ltd. A purple label means that the stem, be- cause of faulty appearance, crushing or bruising of some fingers, or stem breakage is rejected for sale? On , troops under the command of General opened fire on a crowd of strikers gathered in the central square of the town of. And the other importers supplying perhaps 23 percent of North American stem imports probably had proportionately less capital invested than Standard. This was one of the major catalysts for a period of time in Colombia that is none for having been very violent. He had a further advantage in that he had his headquarters in the tropics and gave his banana growing personal attention.
When you buy the General Books edition of this book you get free trial access to Million-Books. Here, how- ever, it appears appropriate to anticipate a few of the major findings presented in these forthcoming chapters, in order to round out our world market picture by assigning money values to the tonnage data given above. Every hour of schedule delay means increased loss through spoilage; every hour that must be added to the planned scheduling means that the fruit must be cut at a less mature stage and therefore entails loss in the weight of merchantable fruit produced or purchased. More particularly, our interest in the United Fruit Company record is focused upon its impact upon the economic development process 24 in the six Latin American republics selected for intensive study- Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador. In a few decades, we could be eating cornflakes topped with an entirely different variety of banana, a notion that's certainly more comforting than the idea that we might have to give up this cheap, potassium-rich comfort food altogether.
Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay are the principal Latin Amer- ican importers, with Brazil and Ecuador as sources of supply. They represent the essential middle link in the distribution chain between the importer and the retailer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in connection with its consumers' price index, tabulates monthly the actual retail sales prices of a wide variety of items that are considered representative in the shopping lists of consumers, from centers care- 65 fully selected to give an accurate cross-section for the United States as a whole. Jobbers generally testify that the grime acquired by Ecuadorean fruit under current practices of interior ship- ment results in more scarring and abrasion in transit, which increases the percentages that must be discarded. Wherever it was financially advantageous, it bought out small companies in ports along the East Coast. No wonder the governments were eager to attract those enterprising Amer- icans that had found a use for their wastelands and were willing to in- vest unheard-of amounts of dollars in clearing the jungle and building railways for the growing of bananas. Panama disease, the second major banana blight, is one that has far greater implications to the question of how much land in addition to current plantings a major banana producer needs.
Yet, today, less than a century later, the banana is a staple in almost every home. In 1927, the government completed its railway from interior points to Puerto Armuelles on the Pacific. Between 1910 and 1930, United Fruit's competitors made steady inroads upon its overall position in the two great import markets. In 1912, in Guatemala, while clearing the jungle for banana plantations, the company uncovered the Mayan ruins of Quiriguá, and paid for archaeologists to restore it, welcoming comparisons between the great lost civilization of the Mayans and the new one the company was building in the jungle. Frank started importing bananas from Colon to New York in 1866 from plantations near the present Canal Zone. By April 1960 Castro was accusing the company of aiding and supporters of former leader in initiating a seaborn invasion of Cuba directed from the United States.
The International Monetary Fund, in its work of keeping track of international balance of payment flows, has been forced to make radical adjustments in reported banana trade figures to avoid untenably large distortions in the accounts of the major banana exporting countries. In 1950, published a novel Dark Green, Bright Red in which a thinly fictionalized version of United Fruit supports a military coup in a thinly fictionalized Guatemala. Japan is the only listed Asian importer, with about 54 million pounds imported in 1955; and New Zealand the sole importer in Oceania at a slightly lower level than Japan. Table 1 covers a world population for 1955 estimated at 2,490 mil- lion persons. United Fruit managers had to fol- 16 low directions from far-off Boston. When we were invited by the National Planning Association to report upon the United Fruit Company's operations in Latin America as a case study of this type of investment, as a condition of our acceptance, we asked for assurance of full access to all relevant accounts and reports of the company. It has no effect on crops, other than the banana, and the Lacatan, Cavendish, and Bout Rond varieties of bananas have demonstrated a high degree of re- sistance, while the Grps Michel is particularly susceptible.
The crane is really an endless belt conveyor to which are affixed at regular, closely spaced intervals horizontal canvas pockets, rubberized and padded, each of which can cradle even the largest stems that weigh more than a hundred pounds each. This explains why national gov- ernments were willing to sign contracts and grant concessions on terms that today would be considered grossly unfavorable. Statistically, it is as yet not known accurately what is the exact nonfood percentage. After locomotives pick up loaded cars in the fields, their hauls usually vary from 10 to 75 miles, although some are longer. The banana variety that predominates in contemporary world trade, the Gros Michel, was probably first brought to the New World by a French botanist, Frangois Pouat, around 1836. One day he ran into a banana jobber who was closing a deal with a grocer and at once saw the possibility of making a profit by selling in nearby com- munities ripe bananas, which sold at a discount on the docks in Mobile, before they spoiled completely.