Chiquita's Panama deadline nears

Chiquita’s exclusivity contract with Panamanian banana co-operative Coosemupar is under threat as the deadline nears for the multi-national and its supplier to settle their differences. “We cannot carry on losing money for each box Coosemupar sells to the trans-national,” Salustiano De Gracia, secretary general of union Sitrachilco said. Representatives from the 14 banana farms that own Coosemupar met on Sunday to discuss next steps once Chiquita’s March 31 deadline passes. “After that government and the union will work together to save the banana industry,” said De Gracia. Both parties have already committed to looking to renegotiate the agreement with Chiquita.