Stefan li Rous
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Sat Jul 17 21:53:37 PDT 2010
<<< When the banana trade took off in the
19th Century, the most common banana was the Gros Michel >>>
<<< (hope I didn't butcher the spelling).>>>
I think that's correct.
<<< This was replaced by the Cavendish banana, IIRC,
because the Cavendish travels and stores better. >>>
Maybe. I wish I could find the banana book I mentioned to check this out. I know it's here somewhere...
However, the Gros Michel was being wiped out by a pest, I think a root fungus. One of the smaller banana companies found the Cavendish and started exporting it. I don't think it was that much easier to ship. It did have to be packaged differently to ship it. In cartons rather than in bunches, I believe. At the time many people preferred the taste of the Gros Michel, but with whole plantations and areas being wiped out, it became more and more difficult, and expensive, to get sufficient numbers of the Gros Michel to market. So the largest company got much smaller and the smaller company became the biggest.
Successful banana selling requires low cost to grow them and low labor costs and shipping in bulk. For those looking for a good example of American imperialism and the U.S. government working hand in hand with commercial businesses to overthrow and manipulate foreign governments to benefit private corporations, there is none better than the banana trade. I didn't really understand where the term "banana republic" came from, until I read this book.
It is also very good on banana history and tracing where they came from and how man through the eras changed it.
THLord Stefan li Rous Barony of Bryn Gwlad Kingdom of Ansteorra
Mark S. Harris Austin, Texas StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at: http://www.florilegium.org ****
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