Standard Fruit Company
Standard Fruit Company (now Dole Food Company) was established in the United States in 1924 by the Vaccaro brothers. Its forerunner was started in 1899, when Sicilian Arberesh immigrants Joseph, Luca and Felix Vaccaro, together with Salvador D'Antoni, began importing bananas to New Orleans from La Ceiba, Honduras. By 1915 the business had grown so large that it bought most of the ice factories in New Orleans in order to refrigerate its banana ships, leading to its president Joseph Vaccaro becoming known as the "Ice King".
Along with the United Fruit Company, Standard Fruit played a significant role in the governments of Honduras and other Central American countries, which became known as "banana republics" due to the high degree of control which the fruit companies held over the nations.
In 1926, the company changed its name from Standard Fruit Company to Standard Fruit & Steamship Company. Between 1964 and 1968, the company was acquired by the Castle & Cooke Corporation, which also acquired James Dole's Hawaiian Pineapple Company (HAPCO) around the same time. In 1991, Castle & Cooke was renamed Dole Food Company. Castle & Cooke Inc, a real estate company, was spun off in 1995 and, following a 2000 management buyout, is now privately held.
- Thomas L. Karnes, "Tropical Enterprise: The Standard Fruit & Steamship Company in Latin America", Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978