Bananas.org

Welcome to the Bananas.org forums.

You're currently viewing our message boards as a guest which gives you limited access to participate in discussions and access our other features such as our wiki and photo gallery. By joining our community, you'll have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload photos, and access many other special features. Registration is fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.

Go Back   Bananas.org > Banana Forum > Banana Economics Forum
The Facebook Platform
Register Photo Gallery Classifieds Wiki Chat Map Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Banana Economics Forum Bananas are the number one exported fruit in the world, and the number one fruit eaten in nearly every country. This forum is for discussions of the economics of bananas involving producers, economists, consumers, transporters, wholesalers, and governments.


Members currently in the chatroom: 0
The most chatters online in one day was 17, 09-06-2009.
No one is currently using the chat.

Reply   Email this Page Email this Page
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-30-2009, 10:22 AM   #41 (permalink)
Muck bananas
 
Nicolas Naranja's Avatar
 
Location: Pahokee, FL
Zone: 10
Name: Nick
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,211
BananaBucks : 319,376
Feedback: 7 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 65 Times
Was Thanked 5,551 Times in 1,551 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 7 Times
Send a message via AIM to Nicolas Naranja
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

It will take a near miracle for anything to happen, American and European consumers will have to demand that the people picking their fruit have the same rights and standards of living that they themselves have. I see the fairtrade system as one of the ways that can occur. Unfortunately the Grocers are not likely to give up much of their banana profits.
__________________
Some people go bananas, I went plantains.
Nicolas Naranja is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Nicolas Naranja
Old 07-30-2009, 11:49 AM   #42 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Location: West Palm Beach
Zone: 10
Name: james
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 505
BananaBucks : 7,324
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 21 Times
Was Thanked 104 Times in 63 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 4 Times
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

very good and well put Nicolas I agree with you a 100%
frog7994 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To frog7994
Old 07-30-2009, 09:30 PM   #43 (permalink)
Howboutcha!
 
TommyMacLuckie's Avatar
 
Location: Mandeville, Louisiana
Zone: 8B
Name: Tommy
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 427
BananaBucks : 159,020
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 7 Times
Was Thanked 372 Times in 201 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 1 Times
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

Are they living up to a capitalistic standard? If they are, how did that happen? What if they just farmed their own land and fed their families? Plant, grow, barter, etc. That's certainly much better than $4 a day from some US company that could pull out without notice. They don't NEED cell phones or computers or any of that kind of American or European or whatever wealthy country thing. American ideals have screwed up everything. The banana companies and the military have screwed everything up down there - not THEM, the people, but America. It's not natural, it's American capitalism that has caused all of this. For over 100 years now.

American's are arrogant. We don't have to live there or work there. We just see shiny yellow bananas in a grocery store and see how cheap they are and think, great. They're always there, they never go out of season. Yet we still pay up to $4 a gallon for gasoline and say 'That's the way it goes' and go flying off knowing that when the tank gets low we'll have to fill it up again gleefully.

Why not pay $4 a pound for bananas? How come the customers aren't stockholders and see to it to keep them honest?

I don't think any of the banana workers care what's on CNN or what ring tone their cell phones have or if they have the latest Blu-Ray or tickets to see The Rolling Stones or if they'll ever drive a BMW. The big companies have been dangling a rotten carrot for years.

Last edited by TommyMacLuckie : 06-27-2012 at 09:43 AM.
TommyMacLuckie is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To TommyMacLuckie
Old 07-30-2009, 10:37 PM   #44 (permalink)
Member
 
southlatropical's Avatar
 
Location: Fordoche, Louisiana
Zone: 9
Name: Isaac
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 420
BananaBucks : 132,023
Feedback: 15 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 71 Times
Was Thanked 194 Times in 83 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 2 Times
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

The situation with these workers is like a poker game in which one player has won all the money and no one else has a chance of getting back in the game.

Capitalism is one of the forces that has made our country great. But it has both good and ill effects just like unionism, patriotism, religion, conservatism, socialism, ect, ect, ect. Greed and blind ideology are the two greatest detriments to society IMO.

"I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again."
William Penn

"Everyone does better when everyone does better."
W.F. Hightower
__________________

southlatropical is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To southlatropical
Old 07-30-2009, 10:47 PM   #45 (permalink)
Howboutcha!
 
TommyMacLuckie's Avatar
 
Location: Mandeville, Louisiana
Zone: 8B
Name: Tommy
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 427
BananaBucks : 159,020
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 7 Times
Was Thanked 372 Times in 201 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 1 Times
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

So it's a lost cause to care? I'm not sure if caring works or is enough. What can I do? I don't know. Buy bananas? Not buy bananas? It's a treadmill.
TommyMacLuckie is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To TommyMacLuckie
Old 07-30-2009, 11:25 PM   #46 (permalink)
Member
 
southlatropical's Avatar
 
Location: Fordoche, Louisiana
Zone: 9
Name: Isaac
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 420
BananaBucks : 132,023
Feedback: 15 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 71 Times
Was Thanked 194 Times in 83 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 2 Times
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

It is never a lost cause to care. There is not much an individual can do about the situation. As Nicolas Naranja mentioned, the fairtrade products are helping, but you have to search them out.

I am fully aware of the benefits of capitalism. And I do not advocate abandoning it. It would be a perfect system except for the greed factor.

I have always found this image to be thought provoking. It was produced in 1911 by the radical I.W.W.


__________________

southlatropical is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To southlatropical

Join Bananas.org Today!

Are you a banana plant enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

Bananas.org is owned and operated by fellow banana plant enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information. Receive all three issues from Volume 1 of Bananas Magazine with your membership:
   

Join Bananas.org Today! - Click Here


Sponsors

Old 07-31-2009, 12:37 AM   #47 (permalink)
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2,759
BananaBucks : 95,635
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 1,364 Times
Was Thanked 849 Times in 419 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 163 Times
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyMacLuckie View Post
So it's a lost cause to care? I'm not sure if caring works or is enough. What can I do? I don't know. Buy bananas? Not buy bananas? It's a treadmill.
Caring is the Heart of change. It's in the hands of the banana pickers to change their destiny. As primitives, we knew this and teamed up as Hunter-Gatherers & Agricultural Communities. This in time evolved into markets & modern businesses. I've heard it said (in a movie, of all things) "If there's a knife to their belly, they'll keep their hands to their sides". The movie was "The Omen" and I believe this has become the motto of modern business leaders throughout the world.
If those people can (in this age of global communication) be made aware that the carrot they see dangling is only intended to keep them barely alive & enslaved, perhaps they might find just cause to reject the carrot & create their own Agricultural Communities (or Technological, who knows?). This could easily spark the very heart of capitalism - competition.

I for one, believe I'll be caring over the course of many lives. But Luv William Penn, just the same.
Eric is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Eric
Old 07-31-2009, 01:59 AM   #48 (permalink)
 
island cassie's Avatar
 
Location: Dominican Republic
Zone: 11+ I guess
Name: Island Cassie
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,170
BananaBucks : 292,806
Feedback: 2 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 1,708 Times
Was Thanked 1,968 Times in 826 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 416 Times
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

Hey Tommy - I agree with you 100% but I feel too strongly to say more as I will go into a rant!! lol!
island cassie is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To island cassie
Old 07-31-2009, 11:40 PM   #49 (permalink)
Muck bananas
 
Nicolas Naranja's Avatar
 
Location: Pahokee, FL
Zone: 10
Name: Nick
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,211
BananaBucks : 319,376
Feedback: 7 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 65 Times
Was Thanked 5,551 Times in 1,551 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 7 Times
Send a message via AIM to Nicolas Naranja
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

The grocery store is where all the profit goes in produce and to a certain extent that is why the local foods movement is picking up a little bit. The local farmer barely squeaks buy with what the grocery store wants to pay them, but they make a good bit of money when the collect most of the retail. Dare I say this but the government really ought to step in and just start charging a flat fee on all produce to make sure that the pickers are paid. I think it would be justified especially since pickers and their families are often a burden on social programs that we all end up paying for anyways. Most of us wouldn't even notice the extra penny, but the beneficiaries that pick 1000s of lbs per year certainly would.
__________________
Some people go bananas, I went plantains.
Nicolas Naranja is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Nicolas Naranja
Said thanks:
Old 08-01-2009, 05:08 AM   #50 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Location: West Palm Beach
Zone: 10
Name: james
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 505
BananaBucks : 7,324
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 21 Times
Was Thanked 104 Times in 63 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 4 Times
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

maybe be a fair idea but it will just turn into more regulation.
frog7994 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To frog7994
Sponsors

Old 08-01-2009, 05:55 AM   #51 (permalink)
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2,759
BananaBucks : 95,635
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 1,364 Times
Was Thanked 849 Times in 419 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 163 Times
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

But if the pickers & plantation owners were the same thing (ie.: agricultural community), it could simplify things a bit. They're trying that in Germany. It's had some problems but that's not to say it could'nt work. In Germany, workers are automatically shareholders in the company at which they're employed.
Eric is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Eric
Old 08-01-2009, 02:22 PM   #52 (permalink)
 
adrift's Avatar
 
Location: Central FL
Zone: 9a
Name: KJ
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 173
BananaBucks : 13,712
Feedback: 2 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 619 Times
Was Thanked 195 Times in 87 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 322 Times
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyMacLuckie View Post
Are they living up to a capitalistic standard? If they are, how did that happen? What if they just farmed their own land and fed their families? Plant, grow, barter, etc. That's certainly much better than $4 a day from some US company that could pull out without notice. They don't NEED cell phones or computers or any of that kind of American or European or whatever wealthy country thing.
A Little Story

The businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while.

The businessman then asked why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The businessman then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy life, seņor."

The businessman scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But seņor, how long will this all take?" To which the businessman replied, "15-20 years." "But what then, seņor?" The businessman laughed and said, "That's the best part! When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions." "Millions, seņor? Then what?" The businessman said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, "Isn't that what I'm doing right now?"
__________________
I was bananas before being bananas was cool.

CoCoRaHS! "Volunteers working together to measure precipitation across the nation."
http://www.cocorahs.org/


Click for Lake Alfred, Florida Forecast
adrift is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To adrift
Old 08-05-2009, 10:04 PM   #53 (permalink)
Howboutcha!
 
TommyMacLuckie's Avatar
 
Location: Mandeville, Louisiana
Zone: 8B
Name: Tommy
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 427
BananaBucks : 159,020
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 7 Times
Was Thanked 372 Times in 201 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 1 Times
Default Re: Chiquita - An Awful Short History

Green bananas? Chiquita teams up with the Rainforest Alliance. - Free Online Library

Green bananas? Chiquita teams up with the Rainforest Alliance.

When Chiquita Brands International started selling bananas with "Rainforest Alliance Certified" stickers in European stores last year, the company expected a positive reaction. But when the bananas--which bear the environmental group's green frog logo--hit grocers' shelves, some people suspected that Chiquita, with a documented history of worker abuse and environmental damage, was participating in a little "greenwashing."

E recently toured two Chiquita plantations in Costa Pica and found that the company has taken major steps to improve the environment. However, some Costa Rican workers still feel they are treated unfairly by the banana giant.

Chiquita admitted to damaging business practices in its 2000 Corporate Responsibility Report, including "improper government influence, antagonism toward organized labor and disregard for the environment." But the company assures consumers it has changed.

According to the Rainforest Alliance (RA), a nonprofit dedicated to protecting tropical forests, the banana company has made significant strides. The two organizations began talks in the early 1990s about reducing pesticide use, recycling, eliminating deforestation and respecting workers' rights.

In 1994, RA started certifying Chiquita's plantations as meeting its social and environmental standards, and in 2005, Chiquita began selling bananas in Europe with the rainforest-safe label. (The bananas are sold in the U.S., but not labeled here.) Now all Chiquita farms and most of its independent suppliers are certified by the group.

But banana union members, who make up a small portion of Chiquita's Costa Rican workers, said they were left out of the certification process, adding that Chiquita still discourages union membership and targets union members for layoffs.

Twenty years ago, Raul Gigena Pazos, superintendent for corporate responsibility in Chiquita's Costa Rica office, would probably not have worked for the banana producer. A graduate of Earth University in Costa Rica, which promotes sustainable farming, Pazos gestures toward trees that create buffers around banana plantings and riverbeds while touring a company plantation. According to the Rainforest Alliance, more than 800,000 trees and bushes have been planted on Chiquita farms since certification began. Chiquita also reforested and owns a 247-acre reserve in the eastern region of Costa Rica.

"The idea is to always be improving," Gigena says, pointing to the recycling center, where the blue plastic bags that protect growing bananas are collected. Chiquita recycles about 3,100 tons of bags and twine per year. At one Costa Rica farm the blue plastic was recycled into floor-boards for a bridge, according to RA.

Gigena bent down next to a banana tree to explain "kidney weed" a plant that discourages weeds without affecting the banana plants. Oliver Bach, RA's standards and policy manager, said the tiny cover plant has eliminated the need for herbicides at some plantations in Panama and Colombia.

In the packing area, a schedule warns workers which areas to avoid during aerial spraying. According to Bach, Chiquita has reduced pesticide use by 80 percent, saving $4.8 million annually since 1997.

At this plantation, some workers praise the company's practices. "They used to treat the environment badly," says Nuria Torrente Ovando, a 37-year-old mother of five who has worked at the plantation for 14 years. But she says that the company no longer uses excessive amounts of plastic and has started recycling.

Luis Ortega Salas, 24, says that Chiquita gave him four paid days off after his child's birth. "Compared to other places, it's better here," he says.

Neither Ortega nor Torrente belongs to a union. Gigena says simply that his workers must not be interested in unions. Besides, he says, the corporation hosts periodic sessions about worker rights and offers employees participation on worker committees.

Standards set by RA demand that "farms have an auditable social plan ... and that workers have the right to organize, to join a union," according to Chris Wille, RA's chief of sustainable agriculture. Wille also says that Chiquita has "more union members than any other banana company."

But Ramon Barrantes, general coordinator of the Costa Rican branch of the Latin American Regional Coordination of Banana Workers' Unions, or COLSIBA, said many workers in Costa Rica are afraid to join a union, and that "permanent committees" meant to represent workers' rights are manipulated by Chiquita.

COLSIBA claims in a document: "The workers, especially the union workers, are not taken into consideration, and for that reason the certifiers never see the many violations [of] human rights, nor do they ... reference ... the freedom to unionize or [pursue] collective bargaining."

Alistair Smith of the British-based Banana Link nonprofit group supports Barrantes' claims. "In Chiquita farms in Costa Rica, there is a strong and ingrained anti-trade union culture," says Smith, who is in daily contact with banana union representatives. "Members are discriminated against ... and encouraged to give up union membership by their supervisors and plantation management, despite the agreement that unions have [with the company] at the regional level."

Barrantes spends his days between the COLSIBA offices in Costa Rica's capital of San Jose, and a tiny office behind a restaurant in a small town, where he is the secretary general of a union called Sitagah. On a bright Saturday morning in July, two Chiquita workers approached his office--one man on crutches, and one with a bandaged arm. Both say they were injured at work. Both say Chiquita wouldn't help.

Union member Marcial Navarro Aroaz laughed when asked about Chiquita's efforts to avoid hitting workers during aerial sprayings. "I've been sprayed a million times," he says. When asked about safety equipment used for spraying, one worker said the plastic gloves he's given wear out too quickly to be practical.

RA spokesman Robert Goodier said that union members can file complaints with the Alliance. "Many union heads are not aware they have that option" Goodier says. "This year, RA has tried to meet with [labor union leaders] most vocally opposed to Chiquita." Wille adds that through a landmark 2001 agreement with the International Union of Food and Farmworkers, based in Switzerland, any complaint from COLSIBA "goes all the way to Geneva, 'to the top.' No other banana company has anything like this," he says.

Despite complaints from union leaders, Chiquita workers interviewed for this story expressed widely varying opinions about their employer. While some complained about confusion over their pay and contracts, or pressure to stay out of the unions, others said they were satisfied working for the company.

"I make more money than I did five years ago," says Milton Benavidez, 23, while he cleared banana fields. Upon hearing his positive comments, union member Marcial Navarro told him not to lie, to tell it like it is. Benavidez looked him straight in the eye and told him that if he complained about the company, then he would be lying.

CONTACT: Banana Link, (011) 44-1603-765670, www.bananalink.org. uk; Rainforest Alliance, (212)677-1900, Rainforest Alliance.
TommyMacLuckie is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To TommyMacLuckie
Reply   Email this Page Email this Page






Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:33 PM.





Follow us:
Twitter YouTube

All content © Bananas.org & the respective author.