July 9, 1990 |
Along U.S. 101 near the Ventura-Santa Barbara county line lies a small tropical paradise that for years has astonished weather analysts and farmers. Tucked between the ocean and 300-foot-high bluffs is a place called La Conchita, a seaside community that is also the home of the only commercial banana plantation in the continental United States, according to the International Banana Assn. There, 10,000 banana trees are fanned by balmy ocean breezes, basking in an island of frost-free weather.
August 6, 1990 |
Reeling from Honduras' costliest labor feud in 36 years, the civilian government sent army troops onto banana plantations and censored radio broadcasts Sunday to help an American multinational fruit company end a seven-week-old strike by 10,000 workers. Two workers and an undercover police officer were wounded outside the Chiquita Brands headquarters here when a soldier fired his machine gun into an angry crowd Saturday night.
June 14, 1991 |
The California health official who threatened to issue a health advisory unless bananas treated with an acutely toxic pesticide were removed from the market said Thursday that the use of the chemical constituted "an accident waiting to happen." Dr. Richard Jackson, chief of the state's Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Division, also described a series of conference calls between federal agencies and state health departments over the pesticide last week as "extremely confrontational."
April 15, 1991 |
Fearing that the market for its home-grown fruits might be imperiled, South Korea for decades looked with trepidation upon foreign-grown bananas. So stringent were restrictions against imported bananas that about 2,000 ingenious farmers in southern Korea started raising the fruit in greenhouses, using electricity or oil heating. The costs were prohibitive, but import curbs ensured profits. The banana became a luxury--a government-created "forbidden fruit."
August 3, 1995 |
Pardon the Ecuadoreans for being a little dubious about "free trade." An international banana war triggered by the European Union has devastated plantations clustered around this coastal city. The effect has been the same in Panama, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. It has also rippled through the boardroom at Dole Food Co. in Westlake Village and clobbered consumers in Europe.
February 4, 1999 |
Crisis in Asia. Chaos in Russia. Turmoil in Brazil. Had enough? Well, here's one more migraine headache for the world economy: bananas. The United States and Western Europe are tangled up in a smoldering feud over a fruit they barely grow, that provides them with next-to-no jobs, that matters to only a few companies in each region and that nobody even pretends has a lot of strategic importance. Indeed, a 1995 mudslide in Ventura County led to the demise of one of the U.S.
February 20, 1991 |
As his banana harvests grew ever more bountiful, Doug Richardson silenced skeptics who claimed that the fruit could not be grown in the continental United States. But in each of the past five winters, the pioneering Ventura County farmer harbored a fear that a rare frost would destroy his Seaside Banana Garden, which banana experts say is the only commercial banana plantation in the continental United States.
June 11, 1999 |
The Scottish Star sits alone at the single dock of this tiny Central American port, waiting for the solitary crane to swing containers of bananas onto its deck. The entire weekly shipment from Belize's sole banana port is never enough to fill a single vessel. So before sailing home to Europe, the ship will top off down the coast in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. The Guatemalan port makes Big Creek look, at best, quaint.
July 2, 2001 |
The Bush administration on Sunday formally lifted trade sanctions the United States had imposed on $191 million worth of French handbags, British bed linens and other European products in a fight over European banana barriers. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said the administration was satisfied with the steps the European Union had taken to implement an agreement the two sides had reached April 11.
April 20, 1999 |
The Europeans signaled Monday that they were ready to forge a truce in the so-called banana wars after the World Trade Organization gave the U.S. the official go-ahead to impose hefty tariffs on European goods valued at $191.4 million a year. After a WTO arbitration panel lifted the final hurdle to U.S. tariffs aimed at penalizing the European Union for its restrictive banana import policies, EU Trade Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan said he wanted to return to the negotiating table.