Chiquitita Case Study
Chiquita Brands International Inc.
(NYSE: CQB) is an American producer and distributor of bananas and other produce, under a variety of subsidiary brand names, collectively known as Chiquita. Other brands include Fresh Express salads, which it purchased from Performance Food Group in 2005. Its current headquarters is located in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Chiquita is the successor to the United Fruit Company and is the leading distributor of bananas in the United States. The company also owns a German produce distribution company, Atlanta AG, which it acquired in 2003.
Chiquita was formerly controlled by Cincinnati businessman Carl H. Lindner, Jr. , whose majority ownership of the company ended as a result of Chiquita Brands International exiting a prepackaged ChapteThe trademark logo mascot, “Miss Chiquita,” now Chiquita Banana, was created in 1944 by Dik Browne, who is best known for his Hagar the Horrible comic strip. The original character was an animated banana with a woman’s dress and legs. 1940s vocalist Patti Clayton was the original 1944 voice of Chiquita Banana, followed by Elsa Miranda, June Valli and Monica Lewis.
Advertisements featured the banana character wearing a fruit hat (the fruit hat costume, in turn, first emerged in a film featuring a character played by Carmen Miranda, the year before the logo was invented). The banana with a fruit hat was changed into a woman in 1987. Peel-off stickers with the logo started being placed on bananas in 1963, and are still placed by hand, in order to avoid bruising the fruitr 11 bankruptcy on March 19, 2002. The enterprise changed its name to Chiquita Brands and operates with that name to this day.
Chiquita Brands International, Inc.
is the final name in a long list of companies whose ultimate origin was the United Fruit Company, formed in 1899 by the merging of the Boston Fruit Company and various fruit exporting concerns controlled by Minor C. Keith. In 1970 it became the United Brands Company when it was purchased by Eli Black. He outbid two other conglomerates, Zapata Corporation and Textron, for a controlling interest in the company.  In fact, that is a condensed version of what has actually happened to United Fruit Co.
, famed in the U.
S. for Chiquita bananas, but known to generations of Latin Americans as “el Pulpo” (the Octopus). In 1990 the company became Chiquita Brands International.  On November 29, 2011, the North Carolina Economic Investment Committee approved $22 million in incentives for Chiquita to move its headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina.
The same day, Chiquita officially announced the headquarters move. The company cited the growing airport as another reason for the move. Chiquita will take several floors in the NASCAR Plaza tower.
Research and development will also move to the Charlotte area. On March 14, 2007, Chiquita Brands was fined $25 million as part of a settlement with the United States Justice Department for having ties to Colombian paramilitary groups. According to court documents, between 1997 and 2004, officers of a Chiquita subsidiary paid approximately $1.
7 million to the right-wing United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), in exchange for local, employee protection in Colombia’s volatile banana harvesting zone.
Similar payments were also made to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), as well as the National Liberation Army (ELN) from 1989 to 1997, both left-wing organizations.  All three of these groups are on the U. S. State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. According to a Wall Street Journal report in 2004, outside attorneys for Chiquita notified the company that the payments violated U.
S. anti-terrorism laws and should not continue. However, payments to the groups continued until Chiquita sold its subsidiary, Banadex, in June 2004.
Chiquita currently faces serious charges in a lawsuit issued in June 2007. According to the attorney of 173 family members of victims of the AUC militia this could be the biggest terrorist case in history and may put Chiquita out of business.
Terry Collingsworth, a lawyer with International Rights Advocates who is involved with the multi-million dollar litigation, said: “This is a landmark case, maybe the biggest terrorism case in history. In terms of casualties, it’s the size of three World Trade Center attacks.  Despite reaching a deal with US prosecutors, Chiquita Brands International still may have to face criminal charges in Colombia, which could even include the extradition of some of its current and former board members. Specifically, on December 7, 2007, “the 29th Specialized District Attorney’s Office in Medellin called the board members of Chiquita […] to make statements concerning charges for conspiracy to commit an aggravated crime and financing illegal armed groups. The court order mentions Robert Fisher, Steven G.
Wars, Carl H.
Linder, Durk Jaguer, Jeffrey Benjamin, Morten Amtzen, Roderick Hills (former committee director of Chiquita), Cyrus F. Freidheim (former general director and most recently president and CEO of a large media group), and Robert Olson, former legal counsel. The nine of them, according to the initial data obtained by the Attorney General’s Office, knew of the illegal operation through which 1. 7 million dollars were transferred to the AUC, a charge to which Chiquita has already admitted and for which the US justice system fined it 25 million dollars.