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A cyclist rides by a banana trailer in La Lima, Honduras.
A cyclist rides by a banana trailer in La Lima, Honduras.
(ESTEBAN FELIX/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Bruised margins spur Big Banana to bunch up

Canadians are right to be concerned when three or four companies effectively control a single national business like wireless telecom. But what if an important and expanding global market were dominated by only a trio of powerful players?

That will be the case in the already concentrated banana universe, once Chiquita Brands International Inc. completes an all-stock merger with smaller but financially sounder Irish company Fyffes PLC. Their combined market share will come in at just under 30 per cent, supplanting current top banana Dole Food Co. Inc. and its 26-per-cent chunk. Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. holds down the third spot among the banana-peddling elite with about 15 per cent (based on 2011 figures) of a $9-billion (U.S.) export market.