Fruit giants Dole Fresh Fruit and Del Monte Fresh Produce have announced that litigation concerning the marketing of an extra-sweet pineapple has been settled out of court.

Dole president and CEO Lawrence Kern said in a conference call to investment analysts that the feud was at an end. The dispute had been running since March 2000, when South Africa-owned Del Monte sued Dole over its Premium Select pineapple, alleging that Dole had stolen its variety from Del Monte Gold.

Del Monte called for an international injunction to inhibit its rival from "advertising, promoting and representing" its Gold MD-2 variety.

Kern said in relation to its own Premium Select pineapple: "There are no constraints with our ability to ramp up that business. We have planned a significant growth."

Meanwhile, Dole last week announced strong growth in Q1 net income (click here for details etc /news_detail.asp?art=49026).