Del Monte Pacific closes lid on dispute with US-based Fresh Del Monte Produce, opens new JVs

Del Monte Pacific’s chairman Rolando C. Gapud and Fresh Del Monte Produce’s chairman and CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh
Del Monte Pacific’s chairman Rolando C. Gapud and Fresh Del Monte Produce’s chairman and CEO Mohammad Abu-GhazalehPHOTO: DEL MONTE PACIFIC

SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed Del Monte Pacific announced on Wednesday (June 28) new joint ventures in retail outlets and refrigerated grocery products with US-based Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc, following full and final settlement of all active litigation between the two companies.

The long-standing litigation had centered on licensing rights and product distribution in various territories around the world.

"We are pleased that we have resolved our differences and put to rest the financial uncertainty that can arise from prolonged litigation," said Rolando C Gapud, Del Monte Pacific chairman.

The joint ventures will result in expanded refrigerated offerings sold across all distribution and sales channels, and a new retail food and beverage concept modeled after an already successful Fresh Del Monte Produce business in the Middle East, said the Singapore firm.

These joint ventures will initially focus on the US market with the potential for expansion into other territories where the companies' businesses complement each other.

A major joint initiative is the introduction of Del Monte branded retail outlets, featuring an assortment of nutritious foods and beverages to meet the increasing demands of consumers for healthier food options.

The companies also announced that they are collaborating on several product innovations, including a line of chilled juices, new varieties of prepared refrigerated fruit snacks, and guacamole and avocado products.

The collaboration offers the opportunity for each partner to share expertise and optimize economies of scale in product development, operations, sourcing, supply chain, marketing and distribution, said the firms.

In addition to retail and new product ventures, the companies have also agreed to a long-term mutual supply agreement to accelerate the expansion of Del Monte product sales in various markets around the world.