• Sweden's news in English

Swedish burger chain ditches Dole over Bananas!* lawsuit

TT/David Landes · 6 Oct 2009, 07:25

Published: 06 Oct 2009 07:25 GMT+02:00

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“We don’t like Dole’s actions. Suing a filmmaker instead of having a dialogue is despicable,” said Max CEO Richard Bergfors to the Realtid.se news website.

Bergfors' decision to have his company boycott Dole products comes following reports that the food company continues its legal fight to stop Bananas!*, a film by Swedish documentary filmmaker Fredrik Gertten, from being released.

The film depicts the plight of a group of Nicaraguan workers as they pursue complaints that Dole made them sterile by using banned pesticides on the banana fields in which they worked.

Bergfors took the decision after learning from a customer about Dole’s lawsuit against Gertten.

While he hasn’t seen the film, Bergfors said he plans to do so.

In the mean time, he is moving ahead with plans to remove Dole products from the Max menu.

“It’s important for us to show Dole that this isn’t acceptable,” Bergfors told Realtid.se.

Story continues below…

“I think Dole risks losing more customers on account of their misguided actions. In Sweden we believe in open dialogue and debate. Everyone can make mistakes, but then you have to admit it.”

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:15 October 6, 2009 by LaQueen
Bravo MAX!
11:23 October 6, 2009 by Freyja14
Yea, seriously that is awesome on MAX's part and even more awesome on Fredrik Gertten's part for exposing Dole.....it's about time someone did!!
11:47 October 6, 2009 by ooh456
Wow to celebrate Max standing up to Dole I will eat lunch at Max today! No wait on second thought I think I will go somewhere else and get some non-disgusting food instead.
12:24 October 6, 2009 by DamnImmigrant
Some things are worth fighting for and others are not! THIS ONE IS NOT!!!

In this case, it sounds like this "DOCUMENTARY" is a complete work of fiction!

I have no loveloss for the multinationals and I would love nothing better than to expose the corruptness and barbarianism that they visit upon people - but I also think you do MORE harm by telling LIES that masquerade as the TRUTH than you do when you expose the truths that are claimed as lies!

This "DOCUMENTARY" is like the boy who cried wolf! When the real wolf shows up, no one will believe it.

So some Swedish government ministers and now MAX look like idiots defending a lie!

I think reading between the lines we will find that MAX was actually looking at a cheaper vendor and thought this would be a better way of saying good by to Dole while at the same time looking like the GOOD GUY standing up for the PEOPLE by sticking it to the MAN!!!
13:04 October 6, 2009 by MacRonald
Last time I eat at MAX I went sick of there food. Let they change there food into more organic and local produced food.
13:54 October 6, 2009 by peropaco
Who gives a rats arse if Max decides to ditch Dole. Anytime I eat at Max and before the last bite I have to run straight to the bathroom. It works faster than any laxative I've ever used. Instead of Maxål they should call it Max belly sliders. And what's up with their staft? Seems they have a policy of only hiring Svensson Svensson.
14:34 October 6, 2009 by Rick Methven
Dole is yet another of these large US corporations that uses its huge financial clout to try to stop any investigation or criticism of its activities. It has a history of breaking laws in the interest of profit. Intimidation, paying right-wing Colombian groups to act as enforcers to grab land. Using banned chemicals on food crops etc. Now they are acting on the international arena, just like Universal has done in the pirate bay affair, to get Sweden to knuckle under. So bravo for MAX in its stand. ( still will not buy a burger)

If you want to support the resistance to Dole and not buy their bananas , then you better give up bananas altogether, as the alternative available in Sweden- Chiquita - has just as murky reputation. Both companies are responsible for creating the "Banana Republics"
18:02 October 6, 2009 by boby
From now on I am not going to buy anything from Max until they issue a public appology.
18:52 October 6, 2009 by mkvgtired
From the other article on this:

Wow what a surprise, the article (or probably the film) does not mention how the law firm recruited as many people as they could to testify in court (to increase the class action status, and the payout). Or how they had South American doctors file fraudulent reports on their behalf. Or how it was found out the law firm coached the workers to lie under oath to gather sympathy. Oddly all these facts are missing. Dont get me wrong companies' actions have hurt employees (usually in the poorer parts of the world) but it is disgusting how these sleazy law firms fraudulently increase the "victims" just to increase the settlement payout.

The same thing will happen with the Shell lawsuit. Hundreds (if not thousands) of people will be gathered to testify. Many will have never been harmed by the company, but the promise of free money will lure them, and the law firm will get extra tens of millions of dollars, all for a little white lie. No one gets hurt, well except those working for the company who are laid off due to the financial strains, oh and the workers that actually WERE harmed and have to accept a much smaller settlement due to the freeloaders. Sick that this movie promotes this.
21:05 October 6, 2009 by spy
Good PR stunt - well done MAX.
22:15 October 6, 2009 by justanotherexpat
Given that Max will now reduce their product range, can they invest in training their staff to do a burger in less than 20 minutes? "Fast food" - the only bit about it that is "fast" is when it *ahem* exits your body *ahem*......
22:54 October 6, 2009 by Bushido
"Swedish hamburger chain Max has said it will stop selling Dole fruit salad...While he hasn't seen the film, Bergfors said he plans to do so..."

Is Dole looking to downgrade it's global earnings forecast as a direct result of Richard Bergfors misguided actions? Uhm, no.

Is Max looking to further downgrade it's food quality and freshness forecast now that it's decided to discontinue the only item worth buying from them. Yes.

Is Richard Bergfors a silly, silly boy? Yes!!
12:25 October 7, 2009 by Lea
Pure fanatism on MAX's side.

Jus as mkvgtired noted above, one has yet to show that there is more truth in this "Fictiomentary" than just a desire of the publicity on filmm aker\s and law company's account. And the Sededsa re just so naive to think that those "poor" guys are made suffer by these "vicious" big companies...

As usual, when bad guys fight, good people have to suffer.
12:15 October 8, 2009 by trinaican
I cant believe you people are trying to call the documentary fiction in an effort to downgrade the demonic policies of Dole. I for one DO NOT buy Dole nor Chiquita bananas. How can you try to attack a documentary that is seeking to expose the little known facts about this company? Dole and Chiquita pay people next to nothing and have them working in a 'Latifundia' system ( basically slave plantations). If people try to organise themselves to agitate for better wages, Dole simply uses brute force (heavy tankers...why does a fruit company need to have military style tankers??!!!) to disperse the people. Furthermore...as a testament to how American legal and governmental systems have been hijacked by the needs of 'big businesses', they have taken the Organisation of Wastern Caribbean states and the European Union to the World Trade Organisation legal action team. The WHO supposedly regulates on international trade issues (protectionism vs free market etc) bu the USA which does not produce a SINGLE BANANA within its borders, took the EU to task for prefentially buying , albeit more expensive, bananas from these islands on behalf of the likes of Dole!!!!! In order to evade this, the islands have now aligned themselves with the fair trade organisation in order to get their bananas (imp contributor to their gdp) sold...

you still want to attempt to defend demonic dole? shame on you if you do!
22:47 October 8, 2009 by mkvgtired
trinaican, I did a case study on this in college. As I stated above people WERE harmed by Dole. The law firm representing the workers recruited other people that were never exposed to any chemicals and added them to the class action suit to expand the base. Doctors filed false reports, and people lied under oath. I was not trying to say nobody was harmed, but only that much less were harmed than the majority of people think. It is unfair to the people that were harmed because they were forced to accept a MUCH lower settlement because it was shared with so many people who weren't harmed, and whos testimony was coached. The fraud doctors, the fake workers, and the law firm made out big, while the people harmed were left with a small settlement that probably didn't even cover their medical costs. If you think that is fair you should be ashamed of yourself.
17:23 October 14, 2009 by dalke
trincaican said "the USA which does not produce a SINGLE BANANA within its borders". That's absolutely false, having grown up in Miami with banana plants in our back yard. From my research now there's about 500 acres in Florida and 1,500 acres in Hawaii. That's not much on the world scale, but there are commercial banana growers in the US.

The rest of your commentary is fine, but please don't assert false facts as it detracts from the validity of the rest of what you say.
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