Type of entity
Authorized form of name
United Fruit Company
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
- Boston Fruit Company (1885-1899)
- United Brands Company (1970-1989)
- Chiquita Brands International (1990- )
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Dates of existence
The United Fruit Company was an American corporation formed on 30 March 1899 as a result of a merger of the Boston Fruit Company headed by Andrew Preston and Lorenzo Dow Baker, and the Costa Rican, Panamanian and Colombian railroad and plantation holdings of American railroad financier Minor C. Keith’s Tropical Trading & Transport Company.
Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Andrew Preston served as the company’s first president until his death in 1924. In 1930, the United Fruit Company acquired Cuyamel Fruit Company, a competitor company headed by Samuel Zemurray, who went on to become managing director in charge of operations, then president of the company from 1938 to 1951.
By the mid-1900s, the United Fruit Company controlled (owned or leased) property made available to them by governments in multiple Caribbean and Central and South American countries including in Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica and Panama. The company imported products grown on its plantations in Latin America (primarily bananas but also sugar, cocoa and other tropical products) transporting them to sell in North American and European markets.
Thomas E. Sunderland served as company president from 1960-1968. In 1970, the United Fruit Company merged with Eli Black’s AMK Corporation, renaming this new entity the United Brands Company. Following the suicide and bribery scandal involving Black and company operations in Honduras, the company rebranded itself as Chiquita Brands International in 1990.
Functions, occupations and activities
Mandates/sources of authority
Identifier of related entity
Category of relationship
Type of relationship
is the subordinate of
United Fruit Company
Dates of relationship
Description of relationship
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Created 18 Jan. 2022 by T. Shida
Bourgois, P. (1989). Ethnicity at work: divided labor on a Central American banana plantation. John Hopkins Univ. Pr.
Bucheli, M., & Read, I. (2001). Chronology. United Fruit Company Historical Society. Retrieved January 18, 2022, from http://www.unitedfruit.org/chron.htm
Chiquita Brands International Inc. (1999). In D. Craft & A. Quick (Eds.), Company Profiles for Students (Vol. 1, pp. 285-289). Gale.
Chiquita Brands International. (2000). Corporate responsibility report: Our complex history. Retrieved on January 18, 2022 from Internet Archive Wayback Machine: http://www.chiquita.com/chiquitacr1/6backgrnd/crp92.asp