Fyffes plc may not be a familiar name in to U.S. consumers, but it means “bananas” in Europe, and the company is the world’s fourth-largest purveyor of the fruit.
And despite the impending bananapocalypse, as discussed on our show last week, U.S.-based Chiquita Brands has purchased the company, creating a $4.6 billion empire (which also includes pineapples, melons, and other fruits).
The companies say they expect to save $40 million by the end of 2016, a number that sounds low to Brett Hundley, a senior equity analyst who watches agribusiness for BB&T Capital Markets. He thinks consolidation will give the new company more leverage with both suppliers and with supermarkets.
“It will provide them more power at the negotiating table each year,” he says.
That’s been a problem for companies like Chiquita in recent years, says Edward Evans, an economist at the Center for Tropical Agriculture at the University of Florida. As supermarket firms consolidated, he says, “They were able to say, ‘Well, we’re going to pay you less for the bananas.'”
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.