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Chiquita operates in six continents of the world.
 
The Chiquita Story
Stickers, songs and a story of transformation
Chiquita’s history is a story of unique and positive transformation. From our founding by Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker in 1870 to the addition of the Fresh Express brand in 2005, Chiquita’s dedicated employees have transformed the company into one of the leading socially and environmentally responsible produce companies in the industry. Although Chiquita’s history includes storied moments
in its past, the company now proudly focuses on extending labor rights, protecting our environment and investing in the communities in which we live and work. Our Core Values of Integrity, Respect, Opportunity and Responsibility serve as the basis of our business performance and guide our everyday activities.
 
The Blue Sticker
Our familiar label is our calling card
Miss Chiquita
Get to know our First Lady of Fruit
Chiquita Advertising
Listen, watch and view our history
 

1800s

1870
Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker purchased 160 bunches of bananas in Jamaica and sailed them to Jersey City in 11 days, where he sold them for a profit.
1871
Minor C. Keith traveled to Costa Rica and contracted to build a national railroad. Since he needed cargo and passengers for the railroad, he planted bananas alongside the tracks to provide paying fares both inland and back to the sea.
1885
Captain Baker started a partnership with Andrew Preston and investors and called it Boston Fruit Company.
1899
Keith and his railroad companies merged with the Boston Fruit Company to create the United Fruit Company on March 30, 1899.
1899
Fruit Dispatch Company was formed to distribute bananas throughout the United States. The company broke new ground over the years in the distribution of fresh perishable produce to interior regions.
1899
Painted ships white to reflect tropical sun and maintain optimum temperature for bananas. The ships were referred to as The Great White Fleet.

1900-1929

1900
Panama disease first destroyed banana farms in Latin America.
1900
United Fruit Company issued its first annual shareholders report.
1903
United Fruit Company revolutionized ocean transportation of perishable food products by using refrigerated vessels.
1903
United Fruit listed on New York Stock Exchange.
1904
United Fruit perfected an unbroken string of wireless communication from the United States to South America. They were the first company to bring this new technology to the tropics so that the ships at sea could communicate vital information with company locations in Latin America.
1910
The Company initiated the first banana research in Latin America to develop new disease-resistant varieties.

1930-1969

1930
Company’s fleet grew to 95 ships.
1935
Sigatoka disease, a leaf fungus, arrived from the western Pacific and spread throughout the Americas' tropics.
1941
World War II brought the banana industry to a virtual standstill. Company ships were requisitioned by British and American governments to aid in the war effort.
1944
The Company introduced the name Chiquita and the Miss Chiquita character and jingle.
1947
"Chiquita" was registered as a trademark in the United States.
1955
The Company, for the first time, processed more than 2.7 billion pounds (1.2 billion kilograms) of fruit.
1958
Scientists recommended new varieties of bananas that were resistant to Panama disease.
1961
The Company began shipping pre-cut hands of bananas in cardboard boxes instead of bunches, to protect against bruising.
1963
The Company began the largest branding program ever undertaken by a produce marketer, accompanied by a record-breaking ad campaign which included affixing the trademark blue sticker to bananas: "This seal outside means the best inside."
1966
The Chiquita brand was introduced in Europe.
1967
The Chiquita label was introduced in Europe.
1968
The first year more than 4 billion pounds (1.8 billion kilograms) of bananas were shipped and sold by the company worldwide.
1969
The Company was awarded its first patent for modified atmosphere packaging to provide a low oxygen atmosphere in individual boxes of bananas to arrest ripening during transit.

1970-1989

1970
1970 The Company merged with AMK Corporation, which operated the John Morrell meat business; name changed to United Brands Company.
1973
The Company introduced the first refrigerated container ships for transport of bananas between Latin America and Texas.
1980
Chiquita was the official sponsor and supplier of bananas to the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York.
1984
Chiquita took delivery of the first of four new refrigerated ships for the Panama to Europe trade.
1989
The Company introduced "Chiquita. Quite Possibly, The World's Perfect Food."

1990-1999

1990
The Company took delivery of first of 16 refrigerated ships in its modern fleet.
1990
Chiquita invests in major banana expansion in the Atlantic zone of Costa Rica.
1990
The Company officially changed its name to Chiquita Brands International, Inc. to take advantage of global brand name recognition.
1991
Chiquita built a state-of-the-art banana processing plant in Costa Rica.
1992
Chiquita began working with the environmental organizations Rainforest Alliance on the Better Banana Project.
1992
Chiquita’s refrigerated ships were fitted with new controlled atmospheres to further slow the ripening process and enhanced the quality of fruit shipments.
1993
European Union imposed illegal quotas and tariffs on bananas imported from Latin America.
1994
First Chiquita farms were certified by the Rainforest Alliance's Better Banana Project.
1994
Chiquita celebrated the 50th anniversary of Miss Chiquita.
1995
Chiquita sold the John Morrell meat business.
1997
Chiquita bananas were certified by the American Heart Association.
1998
Chiquita completed the expansion of the world's largest banana processing plant located in Costa Rica.
1998
Chiquita unveiled a new, updated illustration of Miss Chiquita.
1999
(March) Chiquita celebrated its 100th Anniversary...and what a century it was!

2000-PRESENT

2000
Chiquita adopted Core Values and updated its Code of Conduct to include Social Accountability International's SA8000 labor standard.
2000
Rainforest Alliance certified 100 percent of Chiquita's farms in Latin America to strict environmental and social standards of the Better Banana Project.
2001
Wal-Mart named Chiquita Environmental Supplier of the Year.
2001
Chiquita & IUF, COLSIBA sign a historic agreement on labor rights for banana workers.
2001
Chiquita filed Chapter 11 debt restructuring plan in November.
2002
Chiquita emerged from pre-arranged Chapter 11 in March with solid financial structure.
2002
Chiquita joined the Ethical Trading Initiative.
2002
Chiquita named one of top 20 "green stocks” by The Progressive Investor.
2003
Chiquita marked 100th anniversary of its stock listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
2003
Chiquita sold processed foods division, a vegetable canning subsidiary, to Seneca Foods.
2003
Chiquita sold assets of Armuelles, Panama, banana division to a worker cooperative.
2003
Chiquita received “Corporate Conscience Award” from Social Accountability International.
2004
Fernando Aguirre named Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
2004
100 percent of Chiquita’s owned farms in Latin America certified to SA8000 labor standard.
2004
Chiquita earns "Corporate Citizen of the Americas Award" from Organization of American States for Nuevo San Juan home-ownership project in Honduras.
2004
Chiquita sold banana production and port operations in Colombia.
2005
Chiquita acquired Fresh Express, the No. 1 seller of packaged salads in the United States, with 40 percent retail market share and approximately $1 billion in revenues.
2007
Chiquita signed a strategic shipping agreement with an alliance formed by NYKCool. The transaction included sale and leaseback of 12 owned ships.
2008
Chiquita dedicates James R. Lugg Global Research & Innovation Center in Salinas, Calif.
2009
Chiquita awarded Circle of Excellence Award by the Distribution Business Management Association (DBMA) for its environmental protection and corporate social responsibility initiatives.
2010
Chiquita forms beverage joint venture with Danone.
2010
Fresh Express wins coveted “Black Pearl” global food safety award.
2010
Chiquita introduces breakthrough food safety innovation Fresh Rinse.
2011
Chiquita becomes National Strategic Partner for USDA MyPlate Program.
Chiquita Pineapple Upside Down Biscuits Chiquita Banana Bread Grilled Chiquita Banana and Sausage Kebabs Chiquita Pineapple Freezes Chiquita Banana Split Smoothie Chiquita Banana and Dark Chocolate Muffins Chiquita Plantain Tostone