Chiquita Brands International Inc. said Tuesday it has an agreement with Haitong Food Group Ltd. to process and sell produce in China.
Under the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, Chiquita and Haitong will form Zhejiang Chiquita-Haitong Food Co. Ltd. The venture will operate a food-processing facility in Cixi, China, where it will produce packaged salads, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables and fresh chilled beverages, according to a news release.
“Introducing the Chiquita brand to the emerging Chinese value-added produce market is an important strategic step in becoming a global leader in branded, healthy, fresh foods,” said CEO Fernando Aguirre in the release.
Chiquita said it will provide some capital investment in the venture and have majority ownership of Zhejiang Chiquita-Haitong.
Haitong Food Group, headquartered in Cixi, processes and manufactures prepared, frozen, air-dried, freeze-dried and condensed produce. The company markets its products in China, Japan, the United States, Australia, the European Union and the Middle East.
Chiquita (NYSE: CQB), headquartered in Cincinnati, is a marketer and distributor of fresh and packaged produce in Europe and North America.