Del Monte

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on global corporations.

Del Monte is one of the most well known producers, makers and distributors of food and pet products in the world. It has a brand portfolio that includes: Del Monte, S&W, Contadina, College Inn, Maeow Mix, Kibbles’n Bits, 9Lives, Milk Bone, Pup Peroni, Meaty Bone, Snausages, and Pounce. Del Monte has a worldwide presence, with operations in Asia, South America, USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada, Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico. In words of the company, Del Monte “is committed to enriching the lives of today’s family-everyone in the family, including pets- by providing nourishing, great tasting and easy to use-products that meet the needs of everyone in the home”[1].[2]

Company History

Del Monte is founded in 1916 in San Francisco. The company, whose name at the beginning was “Calpak”, was created through a merger of four large California canning companies. In 1967, Calpak changed its name to “Del Monte Corporation”. In 1979, R.J. Reynolds acquired the company and sold it in 1990 to an investor group lead by Merril Lynch. In 1989, however, the company was divided into two separate entities: Del Monte Tropical Fruit (which would become “Fresh Del Monte Produce” afterwards) and Del Monte Foods. Both of them are still using the Del Monte brand due its high brand name recognition. In 1999 the company, Del Monte Foods, was listed in the New York Stock Exchange. In 2002, the company tripled its size and in 2006 it became the second largest pet food company in the world.[3]

Political and Public Influence

Political Contributions

Lobbying

Del Monte spent more than $140,000 on lobbying and $50,000 in 2008[4].

Corporate Accountability

The members of Del Monte’s board of directors can be contacted and all the Corporate Governance guidelines can be consulted on the company webpage. Generally speaking, the guidelines tend to promote equality and justice between workers, CEOs, and the community in general[5]. However, the company has been involved in a couple of controversies detailed below.

Labor

15 April 2005: “Chile´s Fresh Fruit Boom Not So Sweet For Workers” [6]

This article, written by Ignacio Badal, denounces the precarious conditions in which the “pick and pack” fruit workers have to work. According to the article they earn less than the minimum wage and have to work in very bad conditions (they don’t have transport like in other companies, they don’t get paid for overtime, or any kind of health care or pensions). The article also points out, however, that these are not workers directly hired by Del Monte but employees that work for small or medium-sized growers that sell fruit to big exporters like Del Monte.


5 May 2005: “International Banana Conference: Respect for Trade Union Rights crucial for “Reversing the race to Bottom” [7]

The article reports a conference that took place a couple of days before in which several transnational banana producers (Del Monte included) compelled themselves to take the adequate measures in order to respect trade union rights. The companies and the audience in general called the governments to implement and enforce all the existent conventions about the subject.


21 May 2002: “The Banana Trade War” [8]

The article claims that the three major fruit companies in the world - Chiquita Brands, Del Monte and Dole - have constructed their dominance “on the exploitation of workers of the developing countries”.

Public Health

10 May 2005: “Chiquitas Children”[9]

The article claims that during the 1970s and 1980s the companies Chiquita Brands, Del Monte and Dole use a carcinogenic pesticide to protect their crops in Nicaragua. Today the people that worked there suffer from incurable illnesses. According to the article the companies have announced that they are not guilty and that they are not responsible for the illnesses of that people.


27 May 2007: “Plantation Workers look for justice in the north” [10]

This article, published by The Los Angeles Times, points out the problems that the use of a pesticide called DBCP in the 1970s and the 1980s has caused for the workers that managed it. According to the article, many people that used to work on Del Monte’s plantations are now suffering from incurable illnesses. It is important to remember that at that time Del Monte was still just one company; it was not until 1989 that the company was divided into two different entities.


18 April 2005: “Honduran farm workers sue companies over pesticide” [11]

This article, as well as the last one, describes the difficult situation produced by the use of a certain kind of pesticide by Del Monte on the 1970´s and the 1980´s. The people that used to work there are suffering from incurable illnesses and many of them are currently suffering from sterility.

Business Scope

Financial Information

Fiscal 2008[12]

Results of Operations
(In millions, except per share data):



Net Sales
: $3,736.8



Operating Income: 
$349.1


Net Income: *
$133.1



Diluted Earnings per Common Share*
$0.66



*Includes discontinued operations

Governance

Directors and
 Executive Officers[13]:

Richard G. Wolford
: Chairman of the Board, President
and Chief Executive Officer;
Director

Samuel H. Armacost
Director

Timothy G. Bruer
Director

Mary R. Henderson
Lead Director

Victor L. Lund
 Director



Terence D. Martin
: Director

Sharon L. McCollam
Director

Joe L. Morgan
Director

David R. Williams
Director Executive Officers

Richard G. Wolford
: Chairman of the Board, President
and Chief Executive Officer;
Director



Nils Lommerin
: Chief Operating Officer


David L. Meyers
: Executive Vice President,
Administration and Chief Financial Officer



Timothy A. Cole
: Executive Vice President, Sales



David W. Allen
: Senior Vice President,
Operations and Supply Chain



Richard L. French: 
Senior Vice President, Treasurer,
Chief Accounting Officer and Controller



Richard W. Muto
: Senior Vice President and 
Chief Human Resources Officer



William D. Pearce
: Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer



James G. Potter
: Senior Vice President,
General Counsel and Secretary.

Contact Information

- Del Monte Asia: +65 6235 1926

- Del Monte Foods, USA: www.delmonte.com

Articles and Resources

Books on the Company

Related SourceWatch Articles

Sources

  1. http://www.delmonte.com/company/default.aspx?page=oc_ourvisionandmission
  2. http://www.delmonte.com/company/default.aspx?page=oc_worldwide
  3. http://www.delmonte.com/company/default.aspx?page=oc_ourhistory
  4. http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?year=2008&lname=Del+Monte+Foods
  5. http://investors.delmonte.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=86259&p=irol-govHighlights
  6. http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/30403/story.htm
  7. http://www.iuf.org/cgi-bin/dbman/db.cgi?db=default&uid=default&ID=2057&view_records=1&ww=1&en=1
  8. http://www.globalissues.org/article/63/the-banana-trade-war
  9. http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/2096/
  10. http://articles.latimes.com/2007/may/27/nation/na-pesticide27
  11. http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/30422/story.htm
  12. http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/IROL/86/86259/ar2008/HTML/financial.html
  13. http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/IROL/86/86259/ar2008/HTML/directors.html Directors

External Resources

External Articles

http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/IROL/86/86259/ar2008/HTML/index.html

http://investors.delmonte.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=86259&p=irol-reportsAnnual

http://www.delmonte.com/brands/

http://www.delmonte.com/brands/default.aspx?page=b_newproducts