06 May 1998
Probe highlights Chiquita practices
AN investigation by US newspaper the Cincinnati Enquirer has condemned the business practices of banana supplier Chiquita.
The investigation claimed Chiquita set up an international trust structure allowing it secretly to control dozens of companies in Latin America that appear to be locally owned.
This enabled it to vastly expand its banana production and avoid local laws on land ownership and trade unions, it claimed.
It also accused the company of covering up a bribery scandal in Colombia and buying political influence with campaign contributions.
Now Glenys Kinnock, Labour MEP for South Wales East, has raised the issue with the head of the European Commissions agriculture directorate, Guy Legras.
She hopes the charges will help the European Union to continue granting Caribbean bananas more favourable access.
Chiquita accused the newspaper of using stolen voice mail and portraying the company falsely.
- The Guardian 06/05/98 page 24