Processing Magazine

Pacific Fruit Fined $12.3 Million by EU Over Banana Cartel

October 17, 2011

Bloomberg reports, Firma Leon Van Parys NV’s Pacific Fruit unit was fined 8.9 million euros ($12.3 million) for fixing banana prices in an antitrust case brought to the European Union’s attention by Chiquita Brands International Inc. (CQB). Chiquita, based in Cincinnati, avoided EU fines for blowing the whistle in a similar case in 2008. Dole Food Co. and Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. were fined about 60 million euros for fixing the price of bananas with Chiquita. The two companies rejected claims that they shared commercially sensitive information, arguing that they were required to exchange trade data under the EU’s system of setting import volumes and duties. Pacific Fruit, based in Antwerp, Belgium, and owned by Firma Leon Van Parys, imports bananas to Europe using the brand name Bonita.