The social and Environmental Impacts caused by Vertical Integration of the Export Banana Trade in Honduras
Incredibly, bananas did not become commonplace in the United States until the mid-nineteenth century. Many Latin American countries exported bananas to America, but Honduras was the banana exporter of the world through 1970. The popularity of bananas rose correspondingly with the monopolization of banana production in Honduras. Although, the vertical integration of banana production in Honduras was not the foundation of exportation, the gradual transition from small-scale banana farmers into geographically separated monopolies expedited the overwhelming societal and environmental shifts seen by Hondurans since the late 1800’s.…show more content… The transition from individually owned small-scale farms into three companies having a stranglehold on banana exportation started in 1912 when United Fruit received its first concession in Honduras. While Standard Fruit, Cuyamel, and United Fruit all were major players in the transformation of Honduras, United Fruit Company was the dominant company.
Furthermore, the fruit companies attained massive power in Honduras by receiving concessions from government officials by offering infrastructure, improved productivity, and sometimes bribes to the government. The concession of railroads to the fruit companies gave them power over Honduras’ natural resources. Many government officials believed that giving generous concessions to lure international investors would positively transform Honduras, and that the railroads were crucial in linking the coast to the highlands while also generating revenue for other projects. Unfortunately, this sensible assumption by the government didn’t foresee the problems in allowing the fruit companies to control the infrastructure.
The first problem with selling large tracts of land to the fruit companies while giving them essentially unchecked power arose when land surveys were undertaken. The inability to accurately survey