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Enforcing Business Contracts in South America: The United Fruit Company and Colombian Banana Planters in the Twentieth Century

  • Marcelo Bucheli (a1)

In the first half of the twentieth century, the United Fruit Company, based in Boston, Massachusetts, created an impressive network that produced bananas in Colombia for distribution to the U.S. market. The company grew its own fruit but relied as well on local entrepreneurs. United Fruit imposed draconian contracts on the growers, forcing them to trade on terms that were very favorable to the company. These practices set the standards for other exporters operating in the country, even those based in Colombia.

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María Inés Barbero , “Business History in Latin America: Issues and Debates,” in Business History around the World, eds. Geoffrey Jones and Franco Amatori (Cambridge, U.K., 2003)

Lawrence Grossman , “The St. Vincent Banana Growers' Association, Contract Farming, and the Peasantry,” in Banana Wars: Power, Production, and History in the Americas, eds. Steve Striffler and Mark Moberg (Durham, 2003)

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Business History Review
  • ISSN: 0007-6805
  • EISSN: 2044-768X
  • URL: /core/journals/business-history-review
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