Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Brazilian Buyout of Chiquita Brands is Completely Bananas

Food
Brazilian Buyout of Chiquita Brands is Completely Bananas

The acquisition of Chiquita Brands International by two Brazilian firms not only increases the consolidation of our food supply, but could have devastating consequences for the state of North Carolina and its residents. The Brazilian juice giant Cutrale Group and investment firm the Safra Group have completed their acquisition of Chiquita Brands International, whose headquarters is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. This development is the latest in a cascade of food mergers that threaten to undermine farmers around the world and consumer choice as control of the food supply concentrates in the hands of a few powerful corporations.

Overseas ownership of yet another large food company further complicates an already complex supply chain, shielding company practices from public scrutiny and raising the stakes for consumers when food safety problems occur.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

This latest cross-border acquisition will hit home in other ways as well—Chiquita Brands International employs 300 people at its Charlotte headquarters, most of whom are expected to lose their jobs, according to early news reports. While Charlotte and Mecklenburg County will be refunded the more than one million dollars in economic development incentives provided to the company, those employees who stand to lose their jobs may not fare quite as well.

Over the years Chiquita Brands have become synonymous with union busting on their banana plantations and other questionable labor practices. The company’s new owners have a troubling labor track record of their own, including violating Brazilian wage and labor laws and violations of U.S. worker safety standards at their juice plants in Florida.

Overseas ownership of yet another large food company further complicates an already complex supply chain, shielding company practices from public scrutiny and raising the stakes for consumers when food safety problems occur.

International mergers such as this one are made easier by our failed trade policies. With President Obama and the Republican leadership in Congress moving forward with plans to fast track more bad trade deals, it is important to remember that these deals lead to lost jobs here in the United States. We urge Congress to reject giving fast track authority to President Obama, nix bad trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and to strengthen the Clayton Act in order to protect farmers and consumers from further corporate consolidation efforts.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Why Chipotle’s Pork Problem Is Good for Farmers

How Regenerative Organic Agriculture Can Save the Planet

12 Ways to Rid the Planet of GMOs and Monsanto’s Roundup

Yogyakarta Bird Market, Central Java, Indonesia. Jorge Franganillo / CC BY 2.0

By John R. Platt

The straw-headed bulbul doesn't look like much.

It's less than a foot in length, with subdued brown-and-gold plumage, a black beak and beady red eyes. If you saw one sitting on a branch in front of you, you might not give it a second glance.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Red Knots are among the shorebirds that a scientific study is tracking. BrianEKushner / Getty Images

By Julián García Walther

One morning in January, I found myself 30 feet up a tall metal pole, carrying 66 pounds of aluminum antennas and thick weatherproofed cabling. From this vantage point, I could clearly see the entire Punta Banda Estuary in northwestern Mexico. As I looked through my binoculars, I observed the estuary's sandy bar and extensive mudflats packed with thousands of migratory shorebirds frenetically pecking the mud for food.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The Great Barrier Reef at Whitsunday Island, Australia. Daniel Osterkamp / Getty Images

The world's oceans and coastal ecosystems can store remarkable amounts of carbon dioxide. But if they're damaged, they can also release massive amounts of emissions back into the atmosphere.

Read More Show Less
For World Wildlife Day, seven "Champions of Nature" shared their picks for books that motivate them. Sam Edwards / Getty Images

By Kimberly Nicole Pope

During this year's Davos Agenda Week, leaders from the private and public sectors highlighted the urgent need to halt and reverse nature loss. Deliberate action on the interlinked climate and ecological crises to achieve a net-zero, nature-positive economy is paramount. At the same time, these leaders also presented a message of hope: that investing in nature holds the key to ensuring economic and social prosperity and resilience.

Read More Show Less
Protesters are seen during a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington, DC on June 1, 2017. Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

While some mainstream environmental organizations welcomed Tuesday's introduction of the CLEAN Future Act in the House of Representatives, progressive green groups warned that the bill falls far short of what's needed to meaningfully tackle the climate crisis—an existential threat they say calls for bolder action like the Green New Deal.

Read More Show Less