Chiquita Brands International has received a list of charges from the European Commission over the company’s alleged involvement in a cartel supplying bananas in Europe.

The US-based firm joins Ireland’s Fyffes in having received “statements of objections” from the Commission.

A Chiquita spokesman told just-food last night (26 July) that the company would study the charges and respond in “due course”. The spokesman declined to comment on the nature of Commission’s allegations.

In 2005, Chiquita discovered a number of its employees had shared information on the price and volume of its bananas in Europe. The spokesman said Chiquita “promptly” stopped the misconduct and voluntarily notified the Commission.

Chiquita’s actions have led to the company being granted “conditional immunity” from any fines laid down by the Commission. The spokesman said the immunity is “contingent upon the company’s continued cooperation, among other things”.