Fresh Del Monte
Fresh Del Monte Produce is one of the leading producers and distributors of fruit, vegetables, juices, beverages, snacks, and desserts in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Along with Del Monte Foods, Fresh Del Monte markets its products under the brand “Del Monte” a very well known brand.
- 1 Company History
- 2 Political and Public Influence
- 3 Corporate Accountability
- 4 Business Scope
- 5 Governance
- 6 Contact Information
- 7 Articles and Resources
Del Monte was 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 1989, however, the company is 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 1993, Del Monte Tropical Fruit changed its name to “Fresh Del Monte Produce”. In 1996, the company was acquired by the IAT group and in 1997, Fresh Del Monte Produce was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Between 1997 and 2008, the company consolidated itself as one of the most important companies in the world within its industry by acquiring 4 new divisions, brands, producers, and distributors in the UK, USA, Europe and Costa Rica, including “Del Monte Foods Europe,” one of Del Monte Foods’ divisions .
For more information on Del Monte Foods (separated from Fresh Del Monte Produce since 1989), see Del Monte
Political and Public Influence
There is no evidence of Fresh Del Monte Produce influencing any political candidate or group directly. However, the company is a member and contributesto the United Fresh Produce Association political action committee, an organization that grants to members such as Fresh Del Monte Produce, “an opportunity for the produce industry to help elect, and re-elect pro-produce candidates. 100% of United FreshPAC funds support Members of Congress who support the fresh fruit and vegetable industry on issues important to United Fresh members. It is vital that the produce industry participates in growing a successful PAC to give our industry a voice and actively work to advance the produce industry's interests". This organization contributed $64,500 in 2008 to federal candidates (60% to Democrats and 40% to Republicans) in the United States.
On the webpage of the company, links to the labor, corporate, and environmental governance policies of the company are available. According to those links, the company has a structured corporate governance policy and very clear principles and values with which the company manages its relations to all the groups of interest that interact with it. However, the company has been involved in several controversies not only with respect to human, labor, or environmental rights but also related to the alleged connections of this company with illegal groups.
12 May 2008: ““Todas las bananeras de Urabá le pagaron a las AUC” asegura Salvatore Mancuso a CBS” 
This article, published in the El Tiempo newspaper in Colombia, asserts that there was a relationship between the company and the Colombian paramilitary organization Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC). According to the article, in an interview with CBS one of the commanders in chief of this organization (Salvatore Mancuso) accused Del Monte and two more banana companies (Dole and Chiquita Brands) of making payments to the AUC in order to have “permission of operation” in particular zones. The payments would have happened between the 1990s and the 2000s. During this period, the presence of the Colombian state in these zones was nearly nonexistent, and paramilitary groups controlled almost the entire region.
11 May 2008: “The price of bananas” 
This article points out, again, the issues in which these three companies were involved in relation to the payments that they made to the paramilitary groups in Colombia. The majority of the article is dedicated to the declarations that Fernando Aguirre, president of Chiquita Brands in Colombia, gave to the CBS defending the company from the accusations.
27 May 2007: “Plantation Workers look for justice in the north” 
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 used it. According to the article, many people that used to work in 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” Cite error: Closing
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This article points out the difficult situation in which many ex-Fresh Del Monte workers were living. According to the article more than 1,000 workers were fired unjustifiably in 1999, but due to the evident violation of the contract between the company and its laborers, Fresh Del Monte had to reinstate some of the workers. The proposal was rejected by most of the laborers. Many of the workers, however, came back to the Fesh Del Monte territory, occupying it, and after several years the transnational sold the land to local thugs knowing that many of its ex-workers were living there. This situation ended with the murder of more than 8 laborers.
April 2002: “La cosecha mal habida: Trabajo infantil y obstáculos a la libertad sindical en las plantaciones bananeras de Ecuador” 
This text is a short report that Human Rights Watch published, denouncing the subhuman conditions in which the banana laborers have to work. According to the article, besides this, the workers also get punished if they try to join a trade union. In addition, the companies hire children as young as 8 years old and expose them to all kinds of chemicals and pesticides.
5 April 2006: “Global businesses and human rights”
This text is a short report that professor Dr. AFM Maniruzzaman from the university of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom made including allegations against transnational corporations regarding the constant human rights violations committed by these corporations. In particular, violations of the human rights of workers in many countries are still very frequent. According to the author, and in relation to Fresh Del Monte, this company is still involved in several controversies in Guatemala.
27 June 2002: “Corporate Human Rights”
This article, published by David Corn, is about an initiative promoted by some U.S. lawyers. These lawyers have represented many of the workers and victims of transnational companies like Fresh Del Monte in United States courts. The article discusses one of the biggest problems that these workers have, which the transnational companies take, advantage of: the abuses committed by these companies (although they have operations in many countries) can generally only be denounced in domestic courts, which often results in impunity.
Anti-Trust and Tax Practices
6 November 2007: “Revealed: how multinational companies avoid the taxman” 
This article, published by The Guardian, denounces the practices that Dole, Chuiquita Brands and Fresh Del Monte were using to avoid their responsibilities in terms of paying the normal tax rate. According to the article, although these three companies “generated over $50bn of sales and $1.4bn of global profits in the last five years” they just paid $200m “…or just 14% of profits”. This means that they had paid an effective tax rate as low as 8% “even though the standard rate in the US…is 35%”.
6 November 2007: “Bananas to UK via the channel Islands? It pays for tax reasons”
This article, again, makes reference to the different kind of practices that Fresh Del Monte uses to avoid the tax obligations in the United Kingdom. According to the article, the company is registered in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands. Moreover, it has more than 30 subsidiaries based in the Islands. This enables the company to pay fewer taxes (sometimes as low as 0%).
Social Responsibility Initiatives
All the financial information is available on the following webpages:
Board of Directors 
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.
President and Chief Operating Officer
Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.
Abu-Ghazaleh International Company
Suma International General Trading and Contracting Company
Salvatore H. Alfiero (2),(3)(4)
Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Protective Industries, LLC
Michael J. Berthelot (1),(2)(4)
Chairman of TransTechnology Corporation
Edward L . Boykin C.P.A. (1)(4),(3)
Consultant and Former Partner
Deloitte & Touche LLP
John H. Dalton (1)(2)
President and Director of the Housing Policy Council of the Financial Services Roundtable
Dr. Elias K. Hebeka (1)(3)
Business and Organizational Consultant and Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, The American University in Cairo
(1)Member of the Audit Committee (2)Member of the Compensation Committee (3)Member of the Governance Committee (4)Committee Chairman
Mohammad Abu-Ghazale Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
President and Chief Operating Officer
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Bruce A. Jordan
Senior Vice President - General Counsel and Secretary
Marissa R. Tenazas
Vice President - Human Resources
Thomas R Young, PH.D.
Vice President - Research, Development and Agricultural Services
Antolin D. Saiz
Vice President - Internal Audit
Vice President - Integration and Special Projects
José Antonio Yock
Senior Vice President - Central America
Senior Vice President - North America Sales and Product Management
Senior Vice President - North America Operations
Senior Vice President - Europe, Africa and the Middle East
Vice President – Shipping Operations
Senior Vice President - Asia-Pacific
José Luis Bendicho
Vice President - South America
Further information about the bio and professional career of any of the board members is available on the following webpage:
For the Executive Office and North America:
Del Monte Fresh Produce Company P.O. Box 149222 Coral Gables, FL 33114-9222 USA Tel: 305-520-8400 or 800-950-3683 Fax: 305-567-0320 Email:Contact-US-Executive-Office@freshdelmonte.com
For Europe, the Middle East, and Africa:
Del Monte Fresh Produce International Inc. 74 Boulevard D'Italie Monte Carlo, Monaco 9800 Tel: 377-97-973-800 Fax: 377-93-250-184 Email:Contact-EMEA@freshdelmonte.com
Del Monte Fresh Produce (HK) Ltd Suites 2101-2 & 14, Prudential Tower The Gateway, Harbour City 21 Canton Road Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong Tel: 852-2723-7011 Fax: 852-2311-3187 Email:Contact-AP@freshdelmonte.com
Articles and Resources
Books on the Company
Related SourceWatch Articles
- Referred to Fresh Del Monte Produce by http://www.business-humanrights.org/Categories/Individualcompanies/F/FreshDelMonteProduce?&&batch_start=1
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