The banana is the world’s most important fresh fruit commodity. Little more than a century old, the global banana industry began in the late 1880s as a result of technological advances such as refrigerated shipping, which facilitated the transportation of this highly perishable good to distant markets. Since its inception the banana industry has been fraught with controversy, exhibiting many of the issues underlying the basic global economic relations that first emerged in the era of European colonialism. Perhaps more than any other agricultural product, the banana reflects the evolution of the world economy. At each stage changes in the global economy manifested themselves in the economic geography of banana production and trade. This remains true today as neoliberal imperatives drive the globalization process and mandate freer trade, influencing the patterns of the transatlantic banana trade.
The Banana demystifies the banana trade and its path toward globalization. It reviews interregional relationships in the industry and the changing institutional framework governing global trade and assesses the roles of such major players as the European Union and the World Trade Organization. It also analyzes the forces driving today’s economy, such as the competitiveness imperative, diversification processes, and niche market strategies. Its final chapter suggests how the outcome of the recent banana war will affect bananas and trade in other commodities sectors as well.
The Banana belies the common perception of globalization as a monolithic and irresistible force and reveals instead various efforts to resist or modify the process at local and national levels. Nevertheless, the banana does represent another step toward a globalized and industrialized agricultural economy.
About the Author
James Wiley is an associate professor of geography at Hofstra University.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
A Banana Plantation Model Emerges in Latin America
The Creation of the Banana Empire, 1900-1930 3
The Empire Challenged, 1930-74 35
The End of Splendid Isolation, 1974-93 55
The Caribbean Banana Industries
Peasant Farmer Societies: Commonwealth Caribbean Bananas 73
Belize, Suriname, and the French West Indies: On the Margins of the Caribbean 99
The Changing Framework of the International Banana Trade
The Single European Market and the Western Hemisphere's Banana Industries 125
Neocolonialism Encounters the Free Trade Imperative 147
The World Trade Organization and the Banana Trade 163
The U.S.-EU Banana War Heats Up 181
Pursuit of an Elusive Goal 207
Implications for the Future 231
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Hello Conan! Long time no see, eh? Thought I'd drop in. Buh bye.
I mean its about bananas. Minions love them! (I just dont think minions can read)