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dc.contributor.authorABBOTT, Roderick
dc.date.accessioned2009-06-04T14:28:16Z
dc.date.available2009-06-04T14:28:16Z
dc.date.issued2009
dc.identifier.issn1028-3625
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1814/11486
dc.description.abstractThe genesis, and even more the growth, of the international banana industry is intimately bound up with the development of steamships (from 1850 onwards) and with the spread of railway construction around the world. The coming of steam, which ensured consistent and swifter passage from the Caribbean and Central America to the United States, and later to Europe, meant that bananas could be delivered in good condition rather than rotten, as had happened in earlier days. Later, when refrigerated techniques became available and specialised vessels were built, transport of bananas ceased to be a major problem. Railways were an essential counterpart in the transport chain, being the adaptable way of moving the crop from the plantation to the shipside; and increasingly the profits from banana exports became the preferred method of financing rail construction in Central America. The working paper traces developments from the earliest commercial days, probably in Panama, closely followed by Jamaica, certainly by 1870. This was very much a pioneer industry, with firms set up and joint ventures created, only to collapse as rapidly when a ship or its cargo was lost at sea. At the plantation end it was literally jungle clearance and thousands of workers lost to disease, as well as creating the port, rail, housing and other infrastructure from scratch. Towering names in the industry – Capt. Dow Baker, Andrew Preston, Minor Cooper Keith, Samuel Zemurray, all of whom established, managed and expanded the United Fruit Company in Boston – pass through the pages. Elders & Fyffes in London, which became a United Fruit subsidiary, exported from Jamaica to develop the British market from 1900 on, and later spread the trade into continental Europe before the First World War. Other firms, such as Standard Fruit, also competed in Jamaica and in Central America and would later become parts of the Dole Food Company and of Del Monte. [The paper reports the creation of a ‘Banana Empire’, based on the growth of largely autonomous enclaves within host countries; the early example of vertical integration as a model for global, industrial development; and the significant role of monoculture practices in banana cultivation and of virulent banana diseases.]en
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoenen
dc.relation.ispartofseriesEUI RSCASen
dc.relation.ispartofseries2009/22en
dc.rightsinfo:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subjectBananasen
dc.subjectrailwaysen
dc.subjectshippingen
dc.subjectsteamshipsen
dc.subjectrefrigerationen
dc.subjectPanama diseaseen
dc.subjectSigatokaen
dc.subjectUnited Fruit Companyen
dc.subjectCuyamel Fruit Co. Jamaicaen
dc.subjectPanamaen
dc.subjectCosta Ricaen
dc.subjectColombiaen
dc.subjectGuatemalaen
dc.subjectHondurasen
dc.subjectAndrew Prestonen
dc.subjectMinor Cooper Keithen
dc.subjectVaccaro Brothersen
dc.subjectSam Zemurrayen
dc.titleA Socio-Economic History of the International Banana Trade, 1870-1930en
dc.typeWorking Paperen
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