Chiquita Brands, the American fruit company behind the US-led assault on Europe’s protection of fragile Caribbean banana producers, has lost a bid for damages against the European Commission for standing in its way.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) threw out Chiquita’s case, telling it to pay its own and the Commission’s legal costs. The company claimed compensation over the European Union’s (EU) banana protection regime from 1993-8, which helped guarantee EU markets for Caribbean bananas, but was found in breach of World Trade Organisation rules.

However, the court found this was not illegal under EU law. Brussels was not bound to follow exact “means” when complying with WTO agreements.