Fruit Trade Companies are the organised manifestation of mankind's desire to ship fruit from one country or continent to another. The perishable nature of fruits and vegetables makes it imperative that, once harvested, fresh produce is shipped without delay, in the right condition and at the right cost to wherever there are willing consumers - or at least initially, wholesalers and retailers confident of being able to sell the fruit to the consumer.
Over the millenia, Fruit Trade Companies or in the early years, groupings of traders who to all intent and purpose were acting like a modern company, organised themselves around crops, shipping, selling or selling or a combination of the three of them. Here is a snapshot of how the New York Times viewed the fruit trade in 1872.
The Fruit Trade did not start in the 19th century though. Some of the companies whom we will be discussing in more detail in the coming months have traced the origins of the business they are a lot further back. Here is a commentary related to the way the pineapple business got going in the 15th century.
The serious history buffs amongst you should probably take a few minutes and follow this link to a document entiled The Origins of Global Interdependence, 1500–1800. It puts the Fruit Trade into some a wider perspective. Trade is discussed against the background of the prevailing societal, commercial and knowledge issues of the period.
Two forerunners of today's corporate Fruit Trade Companies also get a mention in dispatches. These are the Dutch United East India Company, and across on the other side of the Engish Channel, the English East India Company. Neither company could be called fruit focused, not at all. The focus was TRADE. Trade in spices, trade in silk, trade in pelts, trade in anything some people had and other people wanted, opium included.
Nevertheless, the more recent origin of our modern fruit companies can be traced back to those two trading conglomerates and their various agents in the far flung outposts of the world.
& others in due course