Panama: Del Monte's banana project delayed over lawsuit
Although Del Monte was given the green light by Panama to invest in a banana project earlier this year, local media are now reporting the company must first wait for the outcome of a lawsuit brought by a group of producers.
Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela signed a contract with Del Monte in May allowing the multinational to invest at least US$100 million over several years.
The investment would be made by subsidiary Banapiña in the western provinces of Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro.
But publication Dia A Dia has reported a group of growers registered a lawsuit with the Supreme Court of Justice on August 3, alleging the deal is unconstitutional.
Humberto Serrano Levi, a government representative in the country's Inter-Institutional Commission, confirmed last week that Del Monte executives had been informed the investment could not be made until legal proceedings had concluded.
He said this was because it would pose an economic risk to the company.
The representative also reportedly said the Del Monte executives were worried about the situation.