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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

 FORM 10-K
 


ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

 OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from              to             .
 
Commission file number 333-07708
 

FRESH DEL MONTE PRODUCE INC.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)



Cayman IslandsN/A
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
(I.R.S Employer
Identification No.)
c/o H&C Corporate Services LimitedN/A
P.O. Box 698, 4th Floor, Apollo House, 87 Mary Street
George Town, Grand Cayman, KY1-1107
Cayman Islands
(Address of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)(Zip Code)
 (305) 520-8400
(Registrant’s telephone number including area code)
 
Please send copies of notices and communications from the Securities and Exchange Commission to:
 
c/o Del Monte Fresh Produce Company
241 Sevilla Avenue
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
(Address of Registrant’s U.S. Executive Offices)
 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of Each ClassTrading SymbolName of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Ordinary Shares, Par Value $0.01 Per ShareFDPNew York Stock Exchange
 Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
 

    
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes       No  
 
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.     Yes    No  
 
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes       No  
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). 
Yes       No  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
 
Large Accelerated FilerAccelerated filerNon-accelerated filerSmaller reporting companyEmerging growth company

    If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

 Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. Yes No  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes   No  
 
The aggregate market value of Ordinary Shares held by non-affiliates at July 2, 2021, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second quarter, was $1,089,279,525 based on the number of shares held by non-affiliates of the registrant and the reported closing price of Ordinary Shares on July 2, 2021 of $32.54.

As of February 11, 2022, there were 47,605,488 ordinary shares of Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. issued and outstanding.
 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
 
    Portions of the Registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for the 2022 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the registrant’s fiscal year are incorporated by reference in Part III of this report.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

  Page
 
 
 
 



Table of Contents
PART I

Item 1. Business

Business Overview
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Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (the “Company,” “we” or “us”) is one of the world’s leading vertically integrated producers, marketers and distributors of high-quality fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, as well as a leading producer and distributor of prepared fruit and vegetables, juices, beverages and snacks in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. We market our products worldwide primarily under the Del Monte® brand, a symbol of product innovation, quality, freshness and reliability since 1892. Our global sourcing and logistics network allows us to provide consistent delivery of high-quality products and value-added services to our customers.
We have leading market positions in the following product categories and we believe we are:
the largest marketer of fresh pineapples in the United States, and a leading marketer in other markets worldwide;
the third-largest marketer of bananas in the United States, and a leading marketer in other markets worldwide;
a leading marketer of:
fresh-cut fruit in the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia;
fresh and fresh-cut vegetable products (including fresh-cut salads) in North America, South Korea, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia;
grapes and avocados in the United States;
non-tropical fruit in select markets; and
canned fruit in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Our vision is to inspire healthy lifestyles through wholesome and convenient products. Our strategy is founded on six goals:

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Our business is comprised of three reportable segments, two of which represent our primary businesses of fresh and value-added products and banana, and one that represents our other ancillary businesses.

Fresh and value-added products - includes pineapples, fresh-cut fruit, fresh-cut vegetables (which includes fresh-cut salads), melons, vegetables, non-tropical fruit (including grapes, apples, citrus, blueberries, strawberries, pears, peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries and kiwis), other fruit and vegetables, avocados, and prepared foods (including prepared fruit and vegetables, juices, other beverages, and meals and snacks).

Banana

Other products and services - includes our ancillary businesses consisting of sales of poultry and meat products, a plastic product business, and third-party freight services.

We market and distribute our products to retail stores, club stores, convenience stores, wholesalers, distributors and foodservice operators in more than 80 countries around the world. North America is our largest market, accounting for 60% of our net sales in 2021. Our other major markets are Europe (which includes Kenya), the Middle East (which includes North Africa) and Asia. Our net sales by region for the year 2021 are depicted in the chart below.

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We produce, source, distribute and market a broad array of fresh produce, primarily under the Del Monte® brand, as well as under other proprietary brands, such as UTC® and Rosy®. We also produce, distribute and market prepared fruits and vegetables, juices, beverages and snacks under the Del Monte® brand, as well as other proprietary brands, such as Fruit Express®, Just Juice®, Fruitini® and other regional trademarks in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. We also distribute under the Mann Packing family of brands in North America including Mann, Mann's Logo, Arcadian Harvest®, Nourish Bowls®, Broccolini®, Caulilini®, Better Burger Leaf® and Romaleaf®.

Our distribution centers and fresh-cut facilities address the growing demand from supermarket chains, club stores, convenience stores, foodservice providers, mass merchandisers and independent grocers to provide value-added services, including the preparation of fresh-cut produce, ripening, customized sorting and packing, just-in-time and direct-store-delivery and in-store merchandising and promotional support. Large national and global chains are increasingly choosing fewer suppliers who can serve all of their needs on a national basis. We believe that there is a significant opportunity for a company like ours with a full fresh and fresh-cut produce line, well-recognized brands, a consistent supply of quality produce and a global distribution network to become the preferred supplier to these large retail, convenience store, and foodservice customers. We strive to expand this status by increasing our leading position in fresh-cut produce, expanding our fresh fruit and vegetable business, continuing to grow these value-added products and diversifying our other fresh produce selections.



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Sourcing and Production

A graphic depicting our geographic sales and sourcing operations is shown below.

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We source our fresh produce products primarily from Central and South America, North America, and the Philippines and our prepared food products from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. We also produce, market and distribute certain prepared food products in North America based on our agreement with Del Monte Pacific Limited and its subsidiary Del Monte Foods, Inc.

Our products are sourced from company-owned operations, through joint venture arrangements and through supply contracts with independent producers. In 2021, 43% of the fresh produce we sold was grown on company-controlled farms and the remaining 57% was acquired primarily through supply contracts with independent growers. Costa Rica is our most significant sourcing location representing approximately 32% of our total sales volume of fresh produce products and where 33% of our property, plant and equipment was located in 2021.

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The following table indicates our net sales by product category and the percentage of the total for the last three fiscal years:

 Year ended
December 31, 2021January 1, 2021December 27, 2019
 (U.S. dollars in millions)
Net sales by product category     
Fresh and value-added products:    
Fresh-cut fruit$493.5 12 %$464.8 11 %$524.4 12 %
Fresh-cut vegetables366.3 %378.9 %455.9 10 %
Pineapples534.4 13 %458.9 11 %454.8 10 %
Avocados320.2 %327.1 %375.7 %
Non-tropical fruit185.2 %210.6 %195.9 %
Prepared foods281.2 %278.3 %284.6 %
Melons67.6 %75.5 %92.4 %
Tomatoes29.5 %40.5 %52.3 %
Vegetables136.6 %155.6 %176.6 %
Other fruit and vegetables90.3 %93.9 %91.8 %
Total fresh and value-added products$2,504.8 59 %$2,484.1 59 %$2,704.4 60 %
Banana1,581.1 37 %1,602.6 38 %1,656.0 37 %
Other products and services166.1 %115.6 %128.6 %
Total$4,252.0 100 %$4,202.3 100 %$4,489.0 100 %


Fresh and value-added products

Our fresh and value-added products segment includes sales of the following product categories:

Fresh-cut produce (fresh-cut fruit and fresh-cut vegetables)
 
We believe that the fresh-cut produce market continues to be one of the fastest-growing categories in the fresh produce industry, largely due to consumer trends favoring healthy, fresh and conveniently packaged ready-to-eat foods. While packaged salads continue to lead the category of fresh-cut produce sales, the category has expanded significantly to include pineapples, melons, mangoes, grapes, citrus and assorted vegetable produce items that are washed, cut and packaged in a ready-to-use form. Within this market, we believe that there is differentiation between companies active primarily in the packaged salad market and other companies, like us, that can offer a wide variety of value-added conventional and organic fresh-cut fruit and vegetable items.

Our fresh-cut fruit products include Del Monte Gold® Extra Sweet pineapples, melons, grapes, citrus, apples, mangoes, kiwis and other fruit items. With our acquisition of Mann Packing in 2018, we significantly expanded our offering in North America to include a broad variety of fresh and fresh-cut vegetable products. We believe that our experience in this market coupled with our sourcing and logistics capabilities and the Del Monte® brand have enabled us to become a leading supplier of fresh-cut fruit to the supermarket, convenience and club store channels in the United States.

Our largest selling market for our fresh-cut products is North America, where 71% of our fresh-cut fruit sales and 88% of our fresh-cut vegetable sales were located in 2021. We also sell fresh-cut products in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

The majority of fresh-cut produce is sold to consumers through retail and club store settings, as well as non-conventional settings such as e-commerce, convenience stores, and airports. We believe that outsourcing by food retailers will increase, particularly as food safety regulations become more stringent and retailers demand more value-added services. We believe that this trend should benefit large branded suppliers like us, who are better positioned to invest in state-of-the-art fresh-cut facilities and food safety systems and to service regional, national and global chains and foodservice operators, as well as supercenters,
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mass merchandisers, club stores and convenience stores. We also believe that large branded suppliers benefit from merchandising, branding and other marketing strategies for fresh-cut products, similar to those used for branded processed food products, which depend substantially on product differentiation.

The fruit we use in our fresh-cut operations are sourced within our integrated system of company-controlled farms and from GAP-certified (good agricultural practices) independent growers. We purchase our vegetables for these purposes from independent growers principally in the United States and Mexico. Our purchase contracts for both fruit and vegetables are typically short-term and vary by produce item.

Pineapples

We believe that we are the leading marketer of fresh pineapples in the United States and a leading marketer in other markets worldwide, based on internally generated data. Our pineapple net sales in 2021 were primarily concentrated in North America (accounting for 59% of our total sales), followed by Europe (21%), Asia (14%), and the Middle East (6%).

The premium pineapples, such as our Del Monte Gold® Extra Sweet pineapple, which has an enhanced taste, golden shell color and bright yellow flesh, has replaced other traditional pineapple varieties in popularity and demand. The production and sale of premium pineapples in the market has also led to increased competition. In 2020, we continued our efforts to diversify our product lines with the launch of our proprietary Pinkglow® pineapple which contains higher levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been associated with numerous health benefits. In 2021, as a further showcase of our diverse product line in the pineapple space, we relaunched our Honeyglow® pineapples which are left to mature naturally on the plant for a few extra days, ensuring a riper and sweeter product.

Pineapples are grown in tropical and sub-tropical locations. The principal production and procurement areas for our gold pineapples are Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Kenya.

In contrast to bananas, pineapples have a long growing cycle of 18 months, and require re-cultivation after one to two harvests. Pineapple growing requires a higher level of capital investment, as well as greater agricultural expertise as compared to growing bananas. Given the complexity of pineapple cultivation relative to our bananas, a higher percentage of the fresh pineapples we sell (76% by volume in 2021) is produced on company-controlled farms.

Avocados

Avocados are one of the fastest growing produce items in the United States. According to a 2021 publication by The Packer, 40% of consumers purchased avocados over the past twelve months. Additionally, the USDA reports that U.S. demand for avocados has increased steadily over the past two decades, with per capita consumption tripling from 2001 to 2018.

Our avocados are sourced principally from Mexico where we have our own sourcing operations and sorting and packing facility, ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality avocados year-round. We also obtain our supply of avocados from independent growers in the United States and Peru.

Prepared Foods
 
We have a royalty-free, perpetual license to use the Del Monte® trademark in connection with the production, manufacture, sale and distribution of prepared food, including beverages, in over 100 countries throughout Western, Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, the Middle East and certain Central Asian countries. We can also produce, market and distribute certain prepared food products in North America based on our agreement with Del Monte Pacific. In Europe, Del Monte is a premier prepared food brand with a more than 90-year history associated with fruit-based or fruit-derived products and is the leading brand for canned fruit and pineapple in many Western European markets. The Del Monte® brand has had a presence in the United Kingdom since 1926 and is perceived to be a quality brand with high consumer awareness. The Del Monte® brand has a reputation with both consumers and retailers for value, quality and reliability.

We produce, distribute and market prepared pineapple, peaches, fruit cocktail, pears, tomatoes, fruit juices and other fruits and vegetables. Our prepared pineapple products are primarily sourced from our own facility in Kenya. Our deciduous prepared food products, which include peaches, fruit cocktail, pears and apricots, as well as our tomato products are principally sourced from our own facility in Greece and from independent producers. We also distribute and market beverages, including ambient juices and juice drinks, as well as various snacks. Our prepared food products are sold primarily under the Del Monte® label and under the buyers’ own label for major retailers. We also produce and market industrial products that are composed of fruit that
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has been processed in our production facilities in the form of purees, pulps and concentrates for further processing (juice, yogurt, cake manufacture and pizza) and for sale to the foodservice industry worldwide. In North America, we produce and market an array of prepared vegetable offerings such as vegetable trays with dip and Mann Packing Nourish Bowls®. We expect to continue investing in new product development to increase revenue and maintain our premium price position and market leadership in our prepared foods category.

Banana

Bananas are the leading internationally traded fresh fruit in terms of volume and dollar sales and one of the best-selling fresh fruits in the United States. According to a 2021 publication by The Packer, bananas were the most popular item in the produce department, purchased by 65% of consumers in the U.S. over the past twelve months.

We believe that we are the third-largest marketer of bananas in the United States and a leading marketer in other markets worldwide, based on internally generated data. Our banana net sales in 2021 were primarily concentrated in North America (accounting for 51% of our total sales), followed by Asia (21%), Europe (18%) and the Middle East (10%). Our ability to provide our customers with a year-round supply of high-quality Del Monte® bananas is important to maintaining our existing customer relationships and attracting new customers. Our position as a volume shipper of bananas has also allowed us to make regular shipments of a wide array of other fresh produce, such as pineapples, melons and plantains, and has enabled us to expand our third-party ocean freight services, thereby reducing our average per-box logistics costs and maintaining higher quality produce with a longer shelf life.

Bananas have a relatively short growing cycle and are grown in tropical locations with humid climates and heavy rainfall, such as Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Philippines and Africa. Bananas are grown throughout the year in these locations, although demand and prices fluctuate based on the relative supply of bananas and the availability of seasonal and alternative fruit.
    
We produce bananas on company-controlled farms in Costa Rica, Guatemala, the Philippines, Panama and Brazil, and we purchase bananas from independent growers in Guatemala, the Philippines, Ecuador, and Colombia. In 2021, we produced approximately 41% of the banana volume we sold on company-controlled farms, and we purchased the remainder from independent growers. Although our supply contracts are primarily long-term, we also make purchases in the spot market, primarily in Ecuador. In Ecuador and Costa Rica, there are minimum export prices for the sale of bananas which are established and reviewed on a periodic basis by the respective governments.

In the Philippines, we purchase the majority of our bananas through long-term contracts with independent growers. Approximately 72% of our Philippine-sourced bananas are supplied by one grower, representing 10% of the Philippines banana industry volume in 2021. In the Philippines, we have leased approximately 4,200 hectares of land where we have planted approximately 3,500 hectares of bananas for the Asia and the Middle East markets.

In 2017, we executed a contract with the Republic of Panama, which committed us to invest a minimum of $100.0 million over a period of seven years upon the delivery of a minimum of approximately 9,000 net acres of land for leasing within specified timeframes. The investment commitment contemplated the development of the leased land for banana production, including refurbishment of packing plants, buildings and other banana facilities and preparation of banana infrastructure. At the end of 2021, approximately 50% of the total committed land had been received, of which 2,400 acres were under production. The Panamanian government has not delivered the remaining portion of the land to us within the specified timeframes. Based on current conditions, we do not anticipate that the Panamanian government will be able to meet their commitment in the future and therefore we do not anticipate any further capital expenditures related to the undelivered land.

Other Products and Services
 
Included in our other products and services segment is our Jordanian food business, our third-party freight services business and our third-party plastics and box manufacturing business. Our Jordanian food business includes a vertically integrated poultry business, including poultry farms, hatcheries, a feed mill, a slaughterhouse and a meat processing plant. Our Jordanian poultry business is a leading provider of poultry products to retail stores and foodservice operators in that country. The meat processing operation provides meat products for the Jordanian market and to other Middle East and North African markets.

Our third-party ocean freight business allows us to generate incremental revenue on ships’ return voyages to our product sourcing locations and when space is available on outbound voyages to our major markets, which reduces our overall shipping costs. We expect that the recent addition of our six new refrigerated container vessels will allow us to continue the expansion of
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our third-party ocean freight business by enabling us to ship third-party cargo on both our outbound and inbound voyages, thereby providing a meaningful contribution to our profitability and operating results in future periods.

Our plastics and box manufacturing business produces bins, trays, bags and boxes. The box manufacturing business is intended mainly to satisfy internal packaging requirements. In the case of the plastic manufacturing business, we principally sell these products to third parties and use a portion for our own internal packaging requirements.  

Logistics Operations

We conduct complex logistics operations on a global basis, transporting our products from the countries in which they are grown to the many markets in which they are sold worldwide. Maintaining fresh produce at the appropriate temperature is an important factor in preventing premature ripening and optimizing product quality and freshness. Consistent with our reputation for high-quality fresh produce, we must preserve our fresh produce in a continuous temperature-controlled environment, from the harvest through its distribution.

We have an integrated logistics network, which includes land and sea transportation through a broad range of refrigerated environments in ships, port facilities, containers, trucks and warehouses. Our logistics system is supported by various information systems. Our objective is to maximize use of our logistics network to lower our average per-box logistics cost, while remaining sufficiently flexible to redeploy capacity or shipments to meet fluctuations in demand in our key markets. We believe that our control of the logistics process is a competitive advantage because we are able to continuously monitor and maintain the quality of our produce and ensure timely and regular distribution to customers on a year-round basis. Because logistics costs are also our largest expense other than our cost of products, we devote substantial resources to optimizing our logistics network.

As of the year ended 2021, we transported our fresh produce to markets using our fleet of one chartered and twelve owned ships, and operated four port facilities in the United States. We operated 42 distribution centers, generally with cold storage and banana ripening facilities in our key markets worldwide, including the United States, Canada, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and Germany. We also operated 25 fresh-cut facilities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, some of which are located within our distribution centers. In addition, we own or lease other related equipment, including approximately 355 trucks and refrigerated trailers used to transport our fresh produce in the United States. In the Middle East, we own or lease approximately 325 trucks used to deliver fresh produce and prepared food products to customers.

As discussed above, we transport our fresh produce using our fleet of one chartered refrigerated ship and twelve owned ships. We also transport our products to destinations around the world using third-party container lines that cover destinations that we do not service directly with our own fleet. Included in our twelve owned ships are our six new refrigerated container ships, the final two of which we received during fiscal 2021. We believe these fuel-efficient vessels will allow us to continue generating logistics cost savings, expanding our commercial cargo business, and ensuring the freshness and quality of our products. We also operate a fleet of approximately 9,000 refrigerated containers.

Sales and Marketing

The Del Monte® brand has been used to identify premium produce products for over 125 years and is recognized by consumers worldwide for quality, freshness and reliability. We employ a variety of marketing tools, including but not limited to advertising, public relations and promotions to reinforce our brand equity with consumers and the trade. Depending on the product and market, we also provide technical, logistical and merchandising support aimed at safeguarding the superior quality of our products to the ultimate consumer. Our sales and marketing activities are conducted by our sales force located at our sales offices worldwide and at each of our distribution centers. Our commercial efforts are supported by marketing professionals located in key markets and regional offices. A key element of our sales and marketing strategy is to use our distribution centers and fresh-cut facilities to provide value-added services to our customers. We actively support our customers through technical training in the handling of fresh produce, category management, in-store merchandising support, joint promotional activities, market research and inventory and other logistical support.

The level of marketing investment necessary to support the prepared food business is significantly higher than that required for the fresh produce and fresh-cut fruit and vegetable business. We use a variety of promotional tools to build the Del Monte® brand and engage consumers in key markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In certain European markets, we use distributors to perform product distribution, sales and marketing activities for the prepared food business. Under these distribution agreements, the sales, warehousing, logistics, marketing and promotion functions are all performed by the distributor. This strategy of utilizing independent distributors enables us to reduce distribution, sales and marketing expenses.
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During 2021, one customer, Walmart, Inc. (including its affiliates), accounted for approximately 7% of our total net sales. These sales are reported in our banana and fresh and value-added products segments. No customer accounted for 10% or more of our net sales in 2021. In 2021, our top 10 customers accounted for approximately 30% of our net sales. 

North America

In 2021, 60% of our net sales were in North America where we have established a highly integrated sales and marketing network that builds on our ability to control transportation and distribution throughout our extensive logistics network. We operate a total of 27 distribution centers and fresh-cut facilities. Our distribution centers have ripening capabilities and/or other value-added services. We also operate four port facilities, which include cold storage capabilities, and own an avocado packing facility in Uruapan, Mexico.

Our logistics network provides us with several sales and marketing advantages. For example, because we are able to maintain the quality of our fresh produce in a continuous temperature-controlled environment, we are under less pressure to fully sell a shipment prior to its arrival at port. This allows us to manage the timing of our sales to optimize our margins. Our ability to off-load shipments for cold storage and distribution throughout our network also improves ship utilization by minimizing in-port docking time. Our logistics network also allows us to manage our inventory among distribution centers to effectively respond to changes in customer demand.

We have sales professionals in locations throughout the United States and Canada. We sell to leading grocery stores and other retail chains, wholesalers, mass merchandisers, supercenters, foodservice operators, club stores, convenience stores and distributors in North America. These large customers typically take delivery of our products at the port facilities, which we refer to as FOB delivery. We also service these customers, as well as an increasing number of smaller regional chains and independent grocers, through our distribution centers.

Europe

In 2021, 16% of our net sales were in Europe where we distribute our fresh produce and prepared food products. Our fresh produce products are distributed to leading retail chains, smaller regional customers as well as to wholesalers and distributors through direct sales and distribution centers.  In the United Kingdom, we have a sales and marketing office in Staines, England and operate a fresh-cut facility in Wisbech, England. In Germany, we operate a distribution center in the Frankfurt area. In France, since late 2021, we have outsourced our fresh-cut production and banana ripening activities to third-parties, while our sales and marketing function is performed internally. In the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Poland, we have sales and marketing entities that perform direct sales of our fresh produce products.

Our prepared food products are distributed through independent distributors throughout most of Europe. In the United Kingdom, our prepared food products are distributed using a combination of both independent distributors and our own marketing entity. Since the beginning of 2021, our prepared food activity in Germany has been performed via direct sales to the retail channel through our own sales and marketing entity. In Russia, we have a sales and marketing office for our prepared food products.

Middle East and North Africa

In 2021, 10% of our net sales were in the Middle East and North Africa. We distribute our products through independent distributors and company-operated distribution facilities.

Our leased distribution/manufacturing center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) is a state-of-the-art facility with just-in-time delivery capabilities that includes fresh-cut fruit and vegetable operations, an ultra-fresh juice manufacturing operation and prepared food distribution. In Saudi Arabia, through our 60%-owned joint venture, we own two distribution centers with banana ripening, cold storage facilities, fresh-cut fruit, vegetable and salad operations, and prepared food manufacturing of frozen potatoes and freshly prepared sandwiches. One of the distribution centers is located in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, and the other distribution center is located in Jeddah, the second largest city in the country. These strategically located distribution centers distribute our fresh produce and prepared food products to these growing markets. In the UAE and in Saudi Arabia, we also distribute our products using our own innovative retail concept through our Food and Beverage (F&B) stores. These F&B stores are small retail kiosks selling our fresh-cut produce, juice and other prepared food products and are strategically located in airports, schools, hospitals and inside hyper-markets.

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In Jordan, we own a vertically integrated poultry business including poultry farms, hatcheries, feed mill, slaughterhouse and a meat processing plant. We are a leading provider of poultry products to retail stores and foodservice operators in that country. In Jordan, we also own a meat processing operation that provides meat products for the local market and for export to other Middle East and North African markets. As part of our vertical integration and expansion strategy in this region, we developed a 10 hectare ultra-modern hydroponic greenhouse in Jordan to supply lettuce to our fresh-cut facilities and we have one F&B store in this country.

In Qatar, we have a sales and marketing office to serve the expanding brand presence in the country and an F&B store located at the Doha airport. In Turkey, our sales office located in Mersin is responsible for sourcing various types of fruit serving our units across the region in addition to selling and distributing a range of prepared food products to distributors. We have an F&B store in Kuwait in addition to a leased facility to service the Kuwaiti market with our fresh produce products and fresh-cut fruit, fresh-cut vegetables and salads. In Tunisia, we have an office giving us presence in the North Africa region, which imports fresh produce products to sell in the local market. We also have an office in Morocco, which distributes our products locally and exports locally-sourced fresh produce, allowing us to further expand our coverage in the North Africa Region. We believe that the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asian countries represent an area for sales growth and development of our fresh and prepared food products. Utilizing our extensive knowledge of this region, we plan to continue capitalizing on this opportunity with increased focus in these markets.

Asia
 
In 2021, 12% of our net sales were in Asia. We distribute our products in Asia through direct marketing and large distributors. Our principal markets in this region are Japan, South Korea, mainland China and Hong Kong. In Japan, we distributed 100% of the products we sold in 2021 through our own direct sales and marketing organization and we operate three fresh-cut facilities. Our products are distributed from four distribution centers located at strategic ports in Japan, which include cold storage.

We engage in direct sales and marketing activities in South Korea and Hong Kong. In other Asian markets, including mainland China, we sell to local distributors. We have one distribution center and banana ripening facility in Hong Kong. In South Korea, we have three distribution centers that utilize state-of-the art ripening technology which increase our ability to offer value-added services to our customers. In South Korea, we also operate a fresh-cut fruit and vegetable facility from which we supply major foodservice customers.
 
Competition
 
The global fresh produce industry is a highly competitive sector, and the effect of competition is intensified because of the perishable nature of the products. We compete based on a variety of factors, including price, overall product quality, brand recognition and customer loyalty, reliability and consistency, effectiveness of marketing and promotional activity, and the ability to identify and satisfy evolving consumer preferences. Our sales are also affected by the availability of seasonal and alternative produce. While historically our main competitors have been multinational banana and pineapple producers, our diversified range of product offerings has resulted in additional competition from a variety of companies. These companies include local and regional producers and distributors in each of our fresh produce and fresh-cut product categories.

The extent of competition varies by product. In the banana market, we continue to face competition from a limited number of large multinational companies. At times, particularly when demand is greater than supply, we also face competition from a large number of relatively small banana producers. Unlike the pineapple market, there are few barriers to entry into the banana market. Supplies of bananas can be increased relatively quickly due to bananas having a short growing cycle and the limited capital investment required for banana growing. As a result of changes in supply and demand, plus seasonal factors, banana prices fluctuate significantly.

In the pineapple category, we believe that the high degree of capital investment and cultivation expertise required, as well as the longer length of the growing cycle, makes it relatively difficult to enter the market. Our primary competitors in this category are large multinational producers, as well as smaller exporters and importers. Our profitability has depended significantly on the sale of our Del Monte Gold® Extra Sweet pineapples.

The fresh-cut produce market is highly fragmented, and we compete with a wide variety of local and regional distributors of branded and unbranded fresh-cut produce and, in the case of certain fresh-cut vegetables, a small number of large, branded producers and distributors. However, we believe that our principal competitive opportunity is to capitalize on the growing trend of retail chains and independent grocers to outsource their own on-premises fresh-cut operations. We believe that our sales strategy, which emphasizes not only our existing sources of fresh produce, but also a full range of value-added services, strict compliance with food safety standards and our national distribution capability, positions us to increase our share of this market.
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The prepared food products market is mature and characterized by high levels of competition and consumer awareness. Consumer choices are driven by price and/or quality. Large retailers with their “buyers own label” (“BOL”) products appeal to price-conscious consumers, while brand names are the key differentiator for quality-focused consumers. In the prepared food markets in Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, we compete with various local producers, large retailers with their BOL products, and large international branded companies. It is in the branded section that our prepared food products, specifically, canned fruit and pineapple in many European countries, hold a leading position in these markets. The mature state of the market in Western Europe, together with the strength and sophistication of the large retailers there, account in part for the increasing presence of BOL products in many food and beverage categories. In order to reduce our costs and increase our competitiveness in the prepared foods business, particularly in Europe, we use distributors in certain key European markets to perform product distribution and sales and marketing activities. Under these arrangements, the sales, warehousing, logistics, marketing and promotion functions are all performed by the distributor.

Quality Assurance
 
To ensure the consistent high quality of our products, we have quality assurance operations placed throughout our global operations under the direction of our corporate quality assurance team. This quality assurance team maintains and enforces detailed quality specifications for all our products so that they meet or exceed our high quality standards and any applicable regulatory requirements. Our specifications require extensive sampling of our fresh produce at each stage of the production and distribution process using external appearance, internal quality, size, color, porosity, translucency, sweetness and other criteria. Our goal is that only fresh produce meeting our stringent quality specifications is sold under the Del Monte® brand.
 
We are able to maintain the high quality of our products by growing a substantial portion of our own produce and working closely with our independent growers. We insist that all produce supplied by our independent growers meet the same stringent quality requirements as the produce grown on our farms. Accordingly, we monitor our independent growers to ensure that their produce will meet our agricultural and quality control standards, offer technical assistance on certain aspects of production and packing and, in some cases, manage the farms. The quality assurance process begins on the farms and continues as harvested products enter our packing facilities. Where appropriate, we cool the fresh produce at our packing facilities to maximize quality and optimize shelf life.

As an indication of our worldwide commitment to quality, food safety, and sustainability, many of our operations are third party certified in globally recognized standards developed for the safe and sustainable production and distribution of quality foods.  These standards include the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 22000 and the Global Food Safety (GFS) Initiative benchmarked standards of Primus GFS, Global G.A.P, and we are in compliance with all components of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act. All of our operations that produce or handle high risk foods (tomatoes, melons or leafy greens) apply Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (“HACCP”) principles. HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical and physical hazard from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. Our certification also includes SCS Global Services’ Sustainably Grown Certified and the Sustainable Agriculture Network’s Rain Forest Alliance for sustainable agriculture and food production. Additionally, our Costa Rica Banana operation has been certified as Carbon Neutral by SCS Global Services since 2015, and our Costa Rica pineapple operation was recently certified as well. Taken together, these certifications reflect our commitment to quality and the strictest standards of food safety.

Government Regulation

As a producer and distributor of food products, we are subject to extensive government laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where our produce is grown, where our facilities are located and where our products are distributed. We have internal policies and procedures to comply with the most stringent regulations applicable to our products, as well as a technical staff to monitor pesticide usage and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. We believe we are in material compliance with these laws and regulations.

The countries in which we market a material amount of our products are the United States, the countries of the EU, Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. The government regulations we are subject to include:
 
sanitary regulations, particularly in the United States and the EU;
 
regulations governing pesticide use in all source countries and residue standards in all market countries, particularly in the United States, Germany, Japan and South Korea;

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ongoing Endocrine Disruptor Assessment programs in the EU and United States which may potentially impact availability, use and residue tolerance of some pesticides; and

regulations governing safety, traceability, packaging, and labeling, particularly in the United States where we are subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Food Safety Modernization Act, and in the EU, where food safety policy is governed by the Farm to Fork Strategy which regulates food safety at all stages of the production and distribution process for all food products marketed within the EU, whether produced within the EU or imported from other countries. For further information about these regulations, please refer to the discussion in Item 1A. Risk Factors, “We are subject to regulations concerning food safety and protection of health and the environment.”
 
We believe there has been an increasing emphasis on food safety issues on the part of consumers, as well as retailers, wholesalers, distributors and foodservice operators, which could result in our business and operations being subject to increasingly stringent food safety regulations or guidelines.

European Union Banana Import Regulations

In December 2010, the EU ratified an agreement with certain Latin America banana exporting countries in which the EU gradually reduced import tariffs on bananas from Latin America except for countries under Free Trade Agreements (FTA's). Countries under FTA's that signed bilateral agreements with the EU in 2012 benefited from an accelerated but gradual reduction of import duties. Our Colombia and Central America-sourced bananas benefit from this FTA agreement. However, we cannot predict the impact of further changes to the banana import tariffs or new quotas on the EU banana market. Additionally, we cannot predict the impact to banana import tariffs that may result from the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU.

Environmental Proceedings
 
The management, use and disposal of some chemicals and pesticides are inherent aspects of our production operations. These activities and other aspects of production are subject to various environmental laws and regulations, depending upon the country of operation. In addition, in some countries of operation, environmental laws can require the investigation and, if necessary, remediation of contamination related to past or current operations. We are not a party to any dispute or legal proceeding relating to environmental matters where we believe that the risk associated with the dispute or legal proceeding would be material, except as described in Item 3.  Legal Proceedings and Note 15, “Commitments and Contingencies” to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8.  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

In 1980, elevated levels of certain chemicals were detected in the soil and ground-water at a plantation leased by one of our U.S. subsidiaries in Oahu, Hawaii. For further information, See Item 3.  Legal Proceedings and Note 15, “Commitments and Contingencies” to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

Research and Development, Patents and Licenses, Etc.

Our research and development programs have led to improvements in agricultural and growing practices, as well as product packaging and technology. These programs are directed mainly at reducing the cost and risk of pesticides, using natural biological agents to control pests and diseases, testing new varieties of our principal fruit varieties for improved crop yield and resistance to diseases, and improving post-harvest handling. We have been seeking to increase the productivity of low-grade soils for improved banana growth and experimenting with various other types of fresh produce. Our research and development efforts are conducted by our staff of professionals and include studies conducted in laboratories, as well as on-site field analysis and experiments. We have research teams directing or actively involved in the development of new fruit varieties in the United States, Costa Rica, and Brazil.

Some of the research and development projects include:

the development of the Del Monte Gold® Extra Sweet pineapple and other pineapple and melon varieties, including our proprietary Pinkglow® pineapple and the recently patented Vintage Ruby™ pineapple

improved irrigation methods and soil preparation for melon planting 
 
In addition, during fiscal 2021, we announced a partnership with Queensland University of Technology, located in Brisbane, Australia, to lead innovation toward the development of disease-resistant bananas. The partnership will help to develop bananas that are resistant to Tropical Race 4 (TR4), a serious vascular crop disease that affects one of our principal products, the Cavendish variety of bananas.
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We have the exclusive right to use the Del Monte® brand for fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and other fresh and fresh-cut produce and certain other specified products on a royalty-free basis under a worldwide, perpetual license from Del Monte Corporation, an unaffiliated company that owns the Del Monte® trademark. Del Monte Corporation and several other unaffiliated companies manufacture, distribute and sell under the Del Monte®  brand canned or processed fruit, vegetables and other produce, as well as dried fruit, snacks and other products. Our licenses allow us to use the trademark “Del Monte®” and the words “Del Monte®” in association with any design or logotype associated with the brand. The licenses also give us certain other trademarks and trademark rights, on or in connection with the production, manufacture, sale and distribution of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, other fresh produce and certain other specified products. In addition, the licenses allow us to use certain patents and trade secrets in connection with the production, manufacture, sale and distribution of our fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, other fresh produce and certain other specified products.
     
We have a royalty-free perpetual license to use the Del Monte® trademark in connection with the production, manufacture, sale and distribution of all food and beverage products in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East and certain Central Asian countries. We can also produce, market and distribute certain prepared food products in North America based on an agreement with Del Monte Pacific utilizing the Del Monte® brand.

We sell produce under several other brands for which we have obtained registered trademarks, including UTC®, Rosy®, Fruit Express®, Just Juice®, Fruitini® and other regional brands.

We also sell products under the Mann Packing family of brands including Mann, Mann's Logo, Arcadian Harvest®, Nourish Bowls®, Broccolini®, Caulilini®, Better Burger Leaf® and Romaleaf®.
 
Seasonality
     
Due to seasonal sales price fluctuations, we have historically realized a greater portion of our net sales and of our gross profit during the first two calendar quarters of the year. The sales price of any fresh produce item fluctuates throughout the year due to the supply of and demand for that particular item, as well as the pricing and availability of other fresh produce items, many of which are seasonal in nature. For example, the production of bananas is continuous throughout the year and production is usually higher in the second half of the year, when the demand for bananas varies because of the availability of other fruit. As a result, demand for bananas is seasonal and generally results in higher sales prices during the first six months of the calendar year. We make most of our sales of non-tropical fruit from October to May.

These seasonal fluctuations are illustrated in the table below, which presents certain unaudited quarterly financial information for the periods indicated. Specifically in 2020, net sales and gross profit for most products were negatively impacted, mainly in the second and third quarter, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, gross profit was negatively impacted by inflationary and cost pressures, most notably in the third quarter.

 
 Year ended
December 31, 2021January 1, 2021
Net sales:  
First quarter$1,088.3 $1,118.0 
Second quarter1,141.6 1,092.3 
Third quarter1,004.8 989.7 
Fourth quarter1,017.3 1,002.3 
Total$4,252.0 $4,202.3 
Gross profit: 
First quarter$105.0 $68.5 
Second quarter110.0 78.7 
Third quarter48.9 67.3 
Fourth quarter39.8 36.4 
Total*$303.8 $250.9 
*Due to rounding, the sum of the quarterly amounts may not equal the reported amounts for the full year.

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Human Capital Management

We believe in nurturing people, from consumers eating our products to our employees, suppliers, customers and the communities in which we live and work.

Employees
     
Our employees are our greatest asset and are directly responsible for our success in delivering fresh, quality products to consumers. Our current workforce is comprised of approximately 10,483 full-time, salaried employees and 29,572 full-time, hourly employees. Additionally, we employ over 9,522 seasonal, hourly employees, who enable us to pack our in-season fruits and vegetables. Approximately 99% of our workforce is employed in production locations. We provide our employees with competitive fixed and/or variable pay, and for eligible employees, we currently provide access to health and retirement benefits. In each of our regions, we work with local officials to calculate fair wages for our team members. We are competitive with local practices; on average, we pay above minimum wage at our farms in Central America, Kenya, and the Philippines.

Diversity and Inclusion

We strive to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion (“D&I”) so all employees feel respected and no employee feels discriminated against. We are proud of the diversity throughout our organization and especially in our leadership team, of which 25% identify as Hispanic, 17% identify as Black, 8% identify as Native American, 25% identify as Caucasian and 25% identify as Middle Eastern. We embrace diversity throughout our company as we have employees across six different generations and many different backgrounds. In 2019, we launched an internal diversity audit to better understand diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization. As a result of feedback from our 2020 diversity survey, in 2021, we added two new female members to our board of directors. During 2021, a formal council comprised of senior leadership worked to connect our D&I efforts with our overall business strategy to communicate our goals, develop mechanisms to achieve those goals and track our progress. We believe a diverse workforce fosters innovation and cultivates an environment of unique perspectives. As a result, diversity and inclusion help us meet the needs of our customers around the world.

Engagement and Opportunities

Evolving our culture to increase employee engagement and productivity is a primary focus of our strategic plan as we believe an engaged workforce leads to a more innovative, productive and profitable company. Our employees are supported with training and development opportunities to pursue their careers and support compliance with our policies. We also utilize a centralized employee intranet to reach out to employees and allow them to stay connected, remain informed and communicate their thoughts and values.

Health

We support the health and well-being of our employees by offering health care benefits. While these benefits vary across our different regions, we are competitive with local practices. We also take a proactive approach to the health and well-being of our communities by contributing to the development of health services and infrastructure. We also aim to raise awareness of the importance of good health. In total, we fund 45 clinics and medical centers globally, where we provide medical and health treatments including vaccines, check-up appointments and more. We also support many local organizations and initiatives that promote healthy and active lifestyles, and sponsor local sports teams and organizations throughout our regions.

COVID-19 caused uncertainty and challenges across the globe. As a food producer and distributor, ensuring continuity of supply while protecting the health and safety of our team members and workers throughout our supply chain was our priority. In response to the pandemic, we implemented extensive safety programs to protect our employees from COVID-19. To help address food insecurity caused by the pandemic, we significantly increased our usual efforts to donate food and provide grants to communities in need. In 2021, we continued making donations of produce to support families in North America and Central America. We are dedicated to helping our workforce, consumers, communities and customers persevere through these tough times.

Safety

We are committed to building a culture of safety with the goal of zero incidents. We enforce our Supplier Code of Conduct so that our suppliers uphold these standards and eliminate labor violations in our supply chain. We require that our key third-party suppliers are certified against Global Food and Safety Initiative benchmarked standards or other standards needed to support the
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safety of their products. We are also supporting innovations to enhance soils, crop yields and resiliency to strengthen our farmers’ livelihoods.

Community Outreach

In our communities around the world, we create more than just jobs; we increase access to healthcare and education, help develop infrastructure, contribute to reducing food insecurity and supporting resiliency and recovery when natural disasters occur. We recognize that each community has unique needs, challenges and cultures, so we work with these communities individually through local organizations and governments, to help develop initiatives that address some of their biggest challenges. Our goal for these programs is to support and foster lasting change. Although we prioritize a “bottom-up” approach that gives our operating regions the responsibility for responding to the specific issues of local concern, we do have overarching themes to our support access to healthcare, education, infrastructure development and clean water and disaster relief.

Globally, we launch and support a variety of projects each year, from providing clean water, to funding schools, to planting trees. We work together with our team members and communities to tackle the issues they face in each of the regions we are proud to call home and are committed to doing all that we can to preserve, protect and grow programs and infrastructure that help them thrive. Our efforts, to date, include:
Funding 45 clinics and medical centers globally, where we attend to around 50,000 patients annually;
Supporting 23,000 students and adult learners with educational opportunities since 2018;
Aiding in sanitation and health efforts across the globe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
Partnering with the United Nations to advance women’s health in Kenya; and
Planting and donating more than 1 million trees in in our operations and our communities.

We seek to continue to grow, support and evolve these efforts in a way that meets the changing needs of our individual communities around the world.

Workforce Governance

Our Board of Directors currently oversees all human capital resources. Our Governance Committee currently oversees our policies and programs related to sustainability, risk management, corporate social responsibility and the environment. Additionally, our Compensation Committee is dedicated to carrying out incentive programs and working with our employees to strategically align talent within the Company. Within our Compensation Committee, our Human Resources officer is responsible for advising and providing insight to best practices regarding human resource issues.

Organizational Structure
 
We are organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands and, as set forth in our Amended and Restated Memorandum of Association, we are a holding company for the various subsidiaries that conduct our business on a worldwide basis. Our significant subsidiaries, all of which are directly or indirectly wholly owned, are:

 
SubsidiaryCountry of Incorporation
Corporacion de Desarrollo Agricola Del Monte S.A.Costa Rica
Del Monte Fresh Produce CompanyUnited States
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc.United States
Del Monte Fund B.V.Curacao
Del Monte International GmbHSwitzerland
Del Monte Fresh Produce SarlLuxembourg
Mann Packing Co., IncUnited States


Availability of Reports and Additional Information

Our legal name is Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., and we use the commercial name Del Monte Fresh Produce. We are an exempted holding company, incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands on August 29, 1996. At December 31, 2021, the close of our most recent fiscal year, members of the Abu-Ghazaleh family directly owned approximately 29.6% of our outstanding Ordinary Shares.
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Our principal executive office is located at P.O. Box 698, 4th Floor, Apollo House, 87 Mary Street, George Town, Grand Cayman, KY1-1107, Cayman Islands. The address of our U.S. executive office is c/o Del Monte Fresh Produce Company, 241 Sevilla Avenue, Coral Gables, Florida 33134. Our telephone number at our U.S. executive office is (305) 520-8400. Our Internet address is www.freshdelmonte.com. We make available, free of charge, our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements on Schedule 14A and amendments to those materials filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), on our website under “Investor Relations - SEC Filings,” as soon as reasonably practicable after we file electronically such material with, or furnish it to, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”). Information on our website is not a part of this Report on Form 10-K. Copies of our annual report may be obtained, free of charge, upon written request to Attention: Investor Relations, c/o Del Monte Fresh Produce Company, 241 Sevilla Avenue, Coral Gables, Florida 33134.

The volume data included in this annual report has been obtained from our records. Except for volume data for Fresh Del Monte, the market share, volume and consumption data contained in this annual report have been compiled by us based upon data and other information obtained from third-party sources, primarily from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and from our surveys of customers and other company-compiled data. Except as otherwise indicated, volume data contained in this Report is shown in millions of 40-pound equivalent boxes.




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Item 1A.Risk Factors

We are subject to many risks and uncertainties that may affect our future financial performance and our stock price. Some of the risks and uncertainties that may cause our financial performance to vary or that may materially or adversely affect our financial performance or stock price are discussed below.

Risks Related to Our Business and Operations

Public health developments and economic uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic have, and are expected to continue to, affect our business operations, financial performance and results of operations.

Our business and financial results have, and are expected to continue to be adversely affected by COVID-19. Since 2020, COVID-19 has negatively impacted global economic activities and disrupted our business in numerous ways, including resulting in:
Service cancellations and the inability of our containers to clear certain points of entry globally because of port closures, which forced us to redirect our products;
Shut-down of restaurants and other businesses that purchase certain of our products, particularly vegetables and fresh-cut vegetables;
Volatile supply and demand conditions in key global markets because of mandatory closures and regulatory restrictions which make it difficult to ensure that our products are available where and when there is demand;
Inventory write-downs and write-offs related to supply and demand disruptions, as our products are perishable and do not have long shelf-lives nor can they be easily relocated to different markets;
Increased logistical costs to implement health and safety protocols, particularly in our farming operations in Central America; and
Staffing shortages, temporary facility closures and reduced production hours because some of our workers contracted the COVID-19 virus.

These effects persisted throughout 2021 and continue to linger because of outbreaks of COVID-19 variants around the globe. Furthermore, the COVID-19 or other global or regional health pandemics or epidemics may accentuate the effects of other risks described in the risk factors below, including those relating to our reputation, brands, consumer preferences, supply chain, product sales, results of operations or financial condition. We may not be able to predict or respond to all impacts on a timely basis to prevent near- or long-term adverse effects to our results. However, we expect that the impact of COVID-19 may continue to negatively affect our business operations, financial performance and results of operations.

Consolidation of retailers, wholesalers and distributors in the food industry may result in downward pressure on sales prices.

In the past twenty years, the food industry in the United States and in many international markets has been subject to significant consolidation. For example, there are four grocers that dominate the U.S. grocery market. Based on their increased size, these entities (i) can exert significant downward pricing pressure on marketers and/or distributors, such as us, (ii) can impose additional costs on us that are the type typically borne by the grocer and (iii) have the ability to launch private label food products that compete with us. If we are unable to successfully manage these relationships our financial results may be materially and adversely affected.

The loss of one or more of our largest customers, or a reduction in the level of purchases made by these customers, could negatively impact our sales and profits.

Sales to Walmart, Inc., our largest customer, amounted to approximately 7% of our total net sales in fiscal 2021, and our top 10 customers collectively accounted for approximately 30% of our total net sales. We expect that a significant portion of our revenues will continue to be derived from a small number of customers. We believe these customers make purchasing decisions based on a combination of price, product quality, consumer demand, customer service performance, desired inventory levels and other factors that may be important to them. Changes in our customers' strategies or purchasing patterns, including a reduction in the number of brands they carry, may adversely affect our sales. Customers may also reduce their purchase from us because of price increases. Additionally, our customers may face financial difficulties, including bankruptcy, or disruptions to their operations which may cause them to reduce their level of purchases from us or render them unable to satisfy their outstanding credit balances on a timely basis. If sales of our products to one or more of our largest customers are reduced or we are unable to collect payment from these customers, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be adversely affected.

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We are dependent on our relationships with key suppliers to obtain a number of our products.

We depend on independent growers and key suppliers to obtain products and raw materials. In the Philippines, we purchase most of our bananas through long-term contracts with independent growers. Approximately 12% of our banana net sales are supplied by one grower in the Philippines. Termination of our relationships with our key suppliers could adversely affect our business. Additionally, we may enter into seasonal purchase agreements committing us to purchase fixed quantities of produce at fixed prices. We may suffer losses if we fail to sell such fixed quantities of produce. Any of these factors could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our profit margins for many of our products, including bananas, pineapples and other fresh produce, are volatile and we may not be able to increase prices to address cost increases.

Our profitability depends on the profit margins and sale volumes of bananas, pineapples and other fresh produce. Market prices of bananas, pineapples and other fresh produce are volatile and difficult to predict because they are affected by various factors, including their availability and quality in the marketplace, imbalances of supply and demand and import regulations. A significant portion of our cost of goods are production and logistics costs which are based on, amongst others, the prices of fuel, labor, fertilizers, inland freight, and packing materials, which are out of our control. Consequently, increases in these costs materially and adversely affect our margins. In 2021, economic conditions related to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in material inflation in the cost of our packaging materials, fertilizers, inland freight, labor and fuel. If we are unable to increase our pricing to reflect these increased costs our profit margins will be adversely affected.

In late 2021, as a result of these increased costs, we increased retail prices. However, retail price increases may not sufficiently reverse the reduced profit margins and could result in loss of sales if our competitors do not also increase their prices. These cost pressures will likely continue to negatively impact our profitability in the future, and we cannot predict their extent or duration.

A continued shortage of qualified labor could negatively affect our business and materially reduce earnings.

Our success depends on our ability, and the ability of third parties we rely on, to produce, supply and deliver our products. Any shortage of qualified labor could adversely affect our business and decrease our ability to produce and deliver product, and to achieve our strategic objectives. Such a shortage could also lead to higher wages for employees (or higher costs to purchase the services of the third parties) and reduce our results of operations. During fiscal year 2021, we and participants in our supply chain experienced shortages of qualified labor. A continuation of such shortages for a prolonged period could have a material adverse effect on our profitability and our ability to grow.

Our industry is highly competitive, which could adversely affect our profitability.

The banana and fresh and value-added products markets are highly competitive, and the effect of competition is intensified because most of our products are perishable. To compete successfully, we must strategically source fresh produce and value-added products of uniformly high quality and sell and distribute them on a timely and regular basis. The extent of competition generally varies by product and is influenced by various factors including price, product quality, brand recognition and customer loyalty, effectiveness of marketing and promotional activity, and the ability to identify and satisfy evolving consumer preferences.

In the banana and pineapple markets, we primarily compete with a limited number of multinational and large regional producers. For other fresh fruit and vegetable products, we compete with several small producers and regional competitors. The fresh-cut produce market is highly fragmented, and we compete with multiple local and regional distributors of branded and unbranded fresh-cut produce and, for certain fresh-cut vegetables, a small number of large, branded producers and distributors. The prepared food markets are mature markets characterized by high levels of competition and consumer awareness. In addition, our profitability has depended significantly on the sale of our Del Monte Gold® Extra Sweet pineapples. Increased competition in the production and sale of Del Monte Gold® Extra Sweet pineapples or our other product categories could adversely affect our results.

Some of our competitors are also engaged in the development of new plant varieties and other food products and frequently introduce new products into the market. Existing products or products under development by our competitors could be more effective, more resistant to disease or less costly than our products, which could have an adverse effect on the competitiveness of our products and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. We expect these competitive
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pressures to continue. There is no assurance that we will continue to compete effectively with our present and future competitors.

We are subject to material currency exchange risks because our operations involve transactions denominated in various currencies, which could negatively affect our operating results.

We conduct business around the world and regularly transact in foreign currencies. Consequently, our results of operations, as expressed in U.S. dollars, may vary significantly because of fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Such disparities are particularly crucial to our business because we incur a significant portion of our costs and our net sales in foreign currencies (nearly 34% of sales in 2021). We are generally unable to adjust our sales prices locally to compensate for fluctuations in the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar and a given foreign currency. There is also a time lag between the moment we incur costs and the moment we collect payments for our products. We periodically utilize forward contracts to hedge against our exposure to currency fluctuations, but we may at times be unable to agree to favorable terms or agree to terms that do not adequately offset currency fluctuations. Accordingly, if the U.S. dollar appreciates relative to the foreign currencies in which we receive sales proceeds, our operating results may be negatively affected. Our costs are also affected by fluctuations in the value, relative to U.S. dollar, of the currencies of the countries in which we have significant production operations. A weaker U.S. dollar may result in increased costs of production abroad.

Our strategy of diversifying our product line, expanding into new geographic markets and increasing the value-added services that we provide to our customers may not be successful.

We are diversifying our product lines through expansion of our service offerings to include a higher proportion of value-added products and services, such as the preparation of fresh-cut produce, ripening, customized sorting and packing, direct-to-store delivery and in-store merchandising and promotional support. Recently, we have made significant investments in distribution centers, new growing operations and prepared food facilities through capital expenditures, including the acquisition of Mann Packing, and have expanded our business into new geographic markets. We may not be successful in anticipating the demand for these products and services, in establishing the requisite infrastructure to meet customer demand or the provision of these value-added services. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic demand of our fresh-cut produce materially decreased. Consequently, our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of our new Mann Packing production facility and our diversified product line on the timeline expected was materially impacted. If we are unable to successfully develop and integrate the diversified product lines in our fresh-cut and value-added vegetable categories, we may not realize all the anticipated synergies and benefits of our Mann Packing investments which could have an adverse effect on our growth and our results of operations.

In addition, the diversification of our product lines may increasingly incorporate products that may contain gene-edited or genetically modified organisms (“GMOs”) in varying proportions. For example, in 2020 we launched our newest pineapple product, our proprietary Pinkglow® pineapple, which is sourced from genetically modified pineapple plants. In addition, as a result of TR4 spreading into new growing regions, we may need to deploy gene-edited or GMO bananas resistant to the disease to maintain a viable supply of bananas to our key markets. In recent years, the food industry has been subject to negative publicity about the health implications of GMOs, added sugars, trans fat, salt, artificial growth hormones, and ingredients sourced from foreign suppliers. Consumers may decide to purchase fewer GMO produce or require us to meet stricter standards than are required by applicable agencies, thereby increasing the cost of production. Regulatory agencies may also impose new restrictions on the use of GMOs. If adverse public opinion about gene-edited or GMO products predominates, we may be unable to sell such innovative products in certain of our key markets, adversely affecting our ability to diversify our business.

Demand for our products is subject to changing consumer preferences, and a reduction in demand for any one or more of our products could negatively impact our sales and profits.

Consumer preferences for food products evolve over time. Shifts in consumer preferences that impact demand for our products can result from several factors, including dietary trends, attention to nutritional aspects, and concerns about the health effects of and the sourcing of ingredients. Our ability to market and sell our products successfully partly depends on how we identify and respond to such changes by offering products that appeal broadly to consumers considering current demands. Our competitors may have a greater operating flexibility, which may permit them to better adapt to changes or to introduce new products and packaging quicker and with greater marketing support. The demand for our products may also be impacted by public commentaries about our products or similar products, as well as by changes in the level of advertising or promotional support that we employ or that are employed by relevant industry groups or third parties that provide competing products. If consumer preferences trend negatively with respect to any one or more of our products, our sales volumes may decline as a result.


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Adverse perception, events or rumors relating to our Del Monte® brand could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We depend on the Del Monte® brand and other proprietary brands in marketing our products. Any events or rumors that cause consumers and/or institutions to no longer associate these brands with high-quality and safe food products may materially adversely affect the value of our brand names and demand for our products. Adverse information about our brand, whether or not true, may be instantly and easily posted on social media platforms at any time. The harm may be immediate without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction. We also share the Del Monte® brand with unaffiliated companies that manufacture, distribute and sell canned or processed fruit and vegetables, dried fruit, snacks and other products. Acts or omissions by these companies, including an instance of food-borne contamination or disease, may adversely affect the value of the Del Monte® brand. As a result, our reputation and the value of the Del Monte® brand may be adversely affected by negative consumer perception.

Sustainability credentials are an increasingly important factor in stakeholders’ perceptions of a company. Should we not meet the expectations of our stakeholders or communicate our work in this area sufficiently, our reputation may be negatively impacted.

We rely on protection of our intellectual property and proprietary rights.

Our success also depends on our ability to protect our intellectual property rights. We rely primarily on patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws to protect our proprietary technologies. We protect our technology by, among other things, filing patent applications for technology relating to the development of our business in the U.S., the EU and selected foreign jurisdictions. Our trademarks and brand names are registered in jurisdictions throughout the world. We intend to keep these filings current and seek protection for new trademarks to the extent consistent with business needs. We also rely on trade secrets and proprietary know-how and confidentiality agreements to protect our technologies and processes. The failure of any patents, trademarks, trade secrets or other intellectual property rights to provide protection to our technologies would make it easier for our competitors to offer similar products, which could adversely affect our business, financial conditions and results of operations.

We may not be able to successfully consummate and manage ongoing acquisition, joint venture and business partnership activities, which could have an adverse impact on our results.

Our growth strategy includes acquisitions and expansion. Accordingly, we may acquire other businesses or enter into joint ventures or other business partnerships from time to time. These types of transactions involve certain risks, including risks related to:
identifying appropriate acquisition candidates or business partners;
potential difficulties in successfully integrating acquired operations;
the quality of products of an acquired businesses or business partners compared to the products we provide;
any loss of key employees of acquired operations or any inability to hire or retain key employees necessary to integrate an acquired business or otherwise implement our growth strategy;
potential diversion of our capital and management attention away from other important business matters;
financial risks, such as potential unknown liabilities of any acquired business;
potential issues with the financial disclosures, accounting practices or internal control systems of any acquired business, joint venture or business partner; and
in the case of joint ventures and business partnerships, increased potential risks associated with the lesser degree of control that we may be able to exert due to the arrangements with our business partners.

We may incur additional costs and certain redundant expenses in connection with our acquisitions and investments, which may have an adverse impact on our financial results. Future acquisitions may result in dilutive issuances of equity securities, the incurrence of additional debt, use of significant portions of our cash reserves, asset impairments (including charges related to goodwill and other intangible assets) and restructuring and other charges. The incurrence of debt in connection with any future acquisitions also could restrict our ability to obtain working capital or other financing necessary to operate our business. Our future acquisitions or investments may not be successful, and if we fail to realize the anticipated benefits of these acquisitions or investments, our business, operating results and financial position could be harmed.





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A sustained lack of profitability could cause us to incur impairment charges of our intangible and long-lived assets and/or record valuation allowances against our deferred tax assets.

If we incur operating losses for a sustained period of time, an impairment of the carrying value of our goodwill, other intangible assets, and long-lived assets could result. We review goodwill and intangible assets for impairment annually or if indicators of impairment manifest. The goodwill associated with our banana reporting unit and the goodwill and trade names and trademarks associated with our prepared foods reporting unit are highly sensitive to differences between estimated and actual cash flows and changes in the discount rates used to evaluate their fair value. If our banana and prepared foods reporting units do not perform to expected levels, the goodwill and other intangible assets associated with these reporting units may be at risk of impairment in the future. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted our results of operations during fiscal 2020 and 2021, including in our banana segment. Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we cannot predict whether future developments would lead to impairment of our intangible assets.

We record impairments on long-lived assets, including definite-lived intangible assets, when indicators of impairment are present and the estimated undiscounted cash flows of those assets are less than the assets’ carrying amount. Certain definite-lived intangible assets related to our fresh and value-added products segment are sensitive to changes in estimated cash flows. If future developments result in estimated cash flows that are less than currently estimated levels, these assets could be impaired.

If incurred, future impairment of our intangible and/or long-lived assets could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. During fiscal 2021, we incurred $3.8 million in long-lived asset impairment charges primarily relating to our decision to abandon certain low-yield banana plantations in the Philippines.

We record valuation allowances on our deferred tax assets if, based on available evidence, it is more-likely-than-not that all or some portion of the assets will not be realized. The determination of whether our deferred tax assets are realizable requires us to identify and weigh all available positive and negative evidence, including recent financial performance and projected future income. If we are unable to generate sufficient income in jurisdictions where we have significant deferred tax assets, we may be required to record valuation allowances which would adversely affect our results of operations.

Increases in wage and benefit costs, changes in laws and other labor regulations, and labor disruptions could impact our financial results and decrease our profitability.

We have significant labor-related expenses, including employee health benefits. Our ability to control our employee and related labor costs is generally subject to numerous external factors, including prevailing wage rates and new or revised employment and labor regulations including changes in immigration laws in the U.S. and other key production countries. Unfavorable changes in employee and related labor costs could impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

In addition, a material portion of our employees who work on our farms work under various syndicatos, work councils, collective bargaining agreements or other agreements with similar types of entities. Our inability to maintain favorable relationships with these entities could result in labor disputes, including work stoppages, which could have a material adverse effect on the portion of our business affected by the dispute, which could impact our business, financial position and results of operations.

Any failure to adequately store, maintain and deliver quality perishable foods could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

Our ability to adequately store, maintain and deliver quality perishable foods is critical. We store highly perishable food products in refrigerated fulfillment centers and ship them to our customers while maintaining appropriate temperatures in transit. We use refrigerated delivery trucks to support temperature control for shipments to certain locations. However, delays in our ability to ship or disruption in the distribution of our products could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Keeping our food products at specific temperatures maintains freshness and enhances food safety. In the event of extended power outages, natural disasters or other catastrophic occurrences, failures of the refrigeration systems in our fulfillment centers or third party delivery trucks, failure to use adequate packaging to maintain appropriate temperatures, or other circumstances both within and beyond our control, our inability to store perishable inventory at specific temperatures could result in significant inventory losses as well as increased risk of food safety. We also contract with third parties to conduct certain fulfillment processes and operations on our behalf or to sell our product in a retail environment. Any failure by such third party to adequately store, maintain or transport perishable foods could negative impact the safety, quality and merchantability of our
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products and the experience of our customers. The occurrence of any of these risks could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

Regulatory Risks

We are subject to the risk of product contamination and product liability claims which could materially and adversely affect our results and financial condition.

The sale of food products for human consumption involves the risk of injury to consumers. Such injuries may result from tampering by unauthorized personnel or quality issues such as product contamination or spoilage, including the presence of foreign objects, substances, chemicals, or residues introduced during the growing, packing, storage, handling or transportation phases. The occurrence of any illnesses or injuries could have serious consequences on sales of our products, our brands and/or our reputation, any of which could harm our business. We cannot be sure that consumption of our products will not cause a health-related illness in the future, that we will not be subject to claims or lawsuits relating to such matters or that we will not need to initiate recalls of our products in response to the foregoing. Even if a product liability claim is unsuccessful, the negative publicity surrounding any assertion that our products caused illness or injury could adversely affect our reputation with existing and potential customers and our brand image. In addition, claims or liabilities of this sort might not be covered by our insurance or by any rights of indemnity or contribution that we may have against third parties, including our customers and suppliers. We cannot be sure that we will not incur claims or liabilities for which we are not insured or that exceed the amount of our insurance coverage, resulting in significant cash outlays that would materially and adversely affect our results and financial condition. We also are subject to the risk of recall events of our competitors which could result in industry-wide reputational loss or consumer avoidance of certain products.

For instance, in 2019 our Mann Packing business voluntarily recalled a series of vegetable products sold to select retailers in the United States and Canada which had an overall adverse impact of approximately $31.0 million on our results of operations.

We are subject to legal and environmental risks that could result in significant cash outlays.

We are involved in several legal and environmental matters that, if not resolved in our favor, could require significant cash outlays and could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. For example, in 1980, elevated levels of certain chemicals were detected in the soil and ground-water at a plantation leased by one of our U.S. subsidiaries in Oahu, Hawaii (the “Kunia Well Site”). Under an order from the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), we completed a remedial investigation and engaged in a feasibility study to determine the extent of the environmental contamination. In 2005, our subsidiary signed a Consent Decree (“Consent Decree”) with the EPA to perform a clean-up work of the Kunia Well Site. Based on findings from remedial investigations, our subsidiary continues to evaluate with the EPA the clean-up work currently in progress in accordance with the Consent Decree. The estimate associated with the clean-up costs, and on which our accrual is based, is $12.9 million. As of December 31, 2021, $12.5 million was included in other noncurrent liabilities and $0.4 million was included in accounts payable and accrued expenses in the Consolidated Balance Sheets for the Kunia Well Site clean-up. See Item 3.  Legal Proceedings and Note 15, “Commitments and Contingencies” to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8.  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

Regulations concerning the use of pesticides, fertilizers and other agricultural products could adversely impact us by increasing our production costs or restricting our ability to import certain products into our selling markets.

Our business depends on the use of fertilizers, pesticides and other agricultural products. The use and disposal of these products are often regulated by various agencies. A decision by a regulatory agency to significantly restrict the use of such products that have traditionally been used in the cultivation of one of our principal products could have an adverse impact on us. For example, the EPA took a series of regulatory actions pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, relating to the evaluation and use of pesticides in the food industry. Similarly, in the EU, regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009, which became effective in 2011 fundamentally changed the pesticide approval process from the previous risk assessment model to the hazard criteria model linked to the intrinsic properties of the substance. In January 2021, the EU did not renew the approval for mancozeb, a fungicide currently used in our operations, to be used within the EU member states. However, tolerances of mancozeb for products imported into the EU are still accepted and the EU is currently assessing whether these tolerances should be maintained, reduced, or eliminated. More recently, in August 2021, the EPA released a final rule revoking all tolerances for chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that has been used since 1965 in both agricultural and non-agricultural areas. In connection with the EPA's ban, we ceased the use of chlorpyrifos in late 2021. Future actions regarding the availability and use of pesticides could have an adverse effect on us by increasing our production costs, restricting our ability to import certain products, or imposing substantial penalties or bans due to noncompliance.
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We are subject to regulations concerning food safety and protection of health and the environment.

Our business is regulated by foreign, federal, state and local environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, which involve compliance costs. These regulations affect daily operations and, to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, we have been and may be required in the future to modify our operations, purchase new equipment or make capital improvements. Changes to our processes and procedures could impose unanticipated costs and/or materially impact our business. Violations of these laws and regulations can result in substantial fines or penalties. There is no assurance that these modifications and improvements and any fines or penalties would not have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to the laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where our facilities are located and where our products are distributed. Specifically, we are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Food Safety Modernization Act (“FSMA”), which is enforced by the FDA. The FDA is authorized to regulate the growing, harvesting, manufacturing, processing, labeling, packaging, distribution and marketing and safety of food in the United States. The FSMA enhances the FDA’s authority over various aspects of food regulation. The FDA has been active in implementing the requirements of the FSMA by issuing regulations to reduce the risk of contamination in food manufacturing, such as the Foreign Supplier Verification program, and enforcing such regulations. Additionally, the FDA is proposing to establish additional traceability recordkeeping requirements (beyond what is already required in existing regulations) for entities who manufacture, process, pack, or hold certain foods. The final rule governing traceability requirements is expected to become effective in 2023, with enforcement of the regulation by the FDA expected to begin in 2025. The recordkeeping requirements outlined within the rule will establish a broader foundation for food traceability, starting with recordkeeping requirements for designated foods from creation, transformation, processing, packing, shipping and more. The full impact of the FDA’s compliance protocols is not yet known, and we cannot assure you that it will not materially impact our business. In addition, the United States Department of Agriculture (the “USDA”) regulates the import and export of certain fruits and vegetables into and from the United States.

In the European Union, the Farm to Fork Strategy regulates food safety at all stages of the production and distribution process for all food products marketed within the EU, whether produced within the EU or imported from third countries. This body of legislation is complex and covers the entire food chain, from animal feed and health, through plant protection and food production, to processing, storage, transport, import and export and retail sales. A framework regulation called the General Food Law Regulation (EC No. 178/2002) lays down the general principles and requirements of food law. European Member States are required to implement European food safety law at the national level. National authorities and food agencies are responsible for enforcement and compliance in European Member States. National authorities may withdraw or recall food from the market if it is injurious to health or unfit for human consumption. Where food presents a serious risk to human health or the environment, the European Commission can implement protective measures and suspend the marketing or use of products originating from the EU or suspend imports of products from non-EU countries.

The European Green Deal intends to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy is an integral part of the Green Deal and aims to address the challenges of sustainable food systems. The shift to a sustainable food system could result in increased costs for our business associated with compliance with new laws and regulations.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and other Canadian governmental departments, could enforce laws such as the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations in a way that causes a disruption to our Canadian business, including, for example, requirements relating to import licenses, traceability, and food testing.

The failure to comply with these laws and regulations in any jurisdiction, or to obtain required approvals, could result in fines, as well as a ban or temporary suspension on the production of our products or limit or bar their distribution, and affect our development of new products, and thus could materially adversely affect our business and operating results.

We are exposed to political, economic and other risks from operating a multinational business, which could have a material adverse effect on our results and financial condition.

Our business is multinational and subject to the political, economic and other risks that are inherent in operating in numerous countries, including:
a change in laws and regulations or imposition of currency restrictions and other restraints;
the imposition of import and export duties and quotas;
the risk that the government may expropriate assets;
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the imposition of burdensome tariffs and quotas;
political changes and economic crises that may lead to changes in the business environment in which we operate;
international conflicts and terrorist acts, which could impact our business, financial condition and results of operations;
public health epidemics, such as COVID-19, which have the potential to impact employees and the global economy;
economic sanctions, which could disrupt our products, even if we do not sell directly into a sanctioned country;
potential violations or alleged violations of laws, regulations, safety codes, employment practices, human rights standards, anti-corruptions laws and other obligations, norms, and ethical standards associated with our operations that may result in litigation costs and damage to our reputation, even if we are ultimately not found responsible;
changes in governmental agricultural policies such as price supports and acreage set aside programs in the jurisdictions where we conduct our significant growing operations; and
economic downturns, political instability and war or civil disturbances that may disrupt our, our suppliers' and our customers' production and distribution logistics or limit sales in individual markets.

Concerning the regulatory environment, banana import regulations have previously restricted our access and increased the cost of doing business in the EU. In December 2010, the EU ratified an agreement with certain Latin America banana exporting countries in which the EU gradually reduced import tariffs on bananas from Latin America except for countries under Free Trade Agreements (FTA's). Countries that signed bilateral agreements with the EU in 2012 benefited from an accelerated but gradual reduction of import duties. Although our Colombia and Central America-sourced bananas benefit from a FTA, we cannot predict the impact of further changes to the banana import tariffs or new quotas on the EU banana market.

Costa Rica and Ecuador have established “minimum” export prices for bananas that are used as the reference point in banana purchase contracts from independent producers, thus limiting our ability to negotiate lower purchase prices. These minimum export price requirements could increase the cost of sourcing bananas in countries that have established such requirements.

We are also subject to a variety of sanitary regulations, regulations governing pesticide use and residue levels, and regulations governing food safety, traceability, packaging and labeling in countries where we source and market our products. If we fail to comply with applicable regulations, we could be restricted from selling or shipping some or all our products for a given period. Such a development could result in significant losses and could weaken our financial condition.

The enforcement of regulations concerning the marketing and labeling of food products could adversely affect our reputation.

The marketing and labeling of food products have brought increased risk of consumer class action lawsuits, and risk that the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") and/or state attorneys general will bring legal action about the truth and accuracy of the marketing and labeling of the product. Such consumer class actions include fraud, unfair trade practices and breach of state consumer protection statutes, such as Proposition 65 in California. The FTC and state attorneys general may bring legal actions that seek removal of a product from the marketplace and impose fines and penalties. Even when not merited, these class action claims and legal actions can be expensive to defend and could adversely affect our reputation, brand image, business and operating results.

The packaging and labeling of our products, and their distribution and marketing, are also subject to regulation by governmental authorities in each jurisdiction where our products are marketed. A failure to comply with labeling requirements in any of the jurisdictions in which we do business could result in enforcement proceedings, an order barring the sale of part or all of a particular shipment of our products or, possibly, the sale of any of our products for a specified period. Such a development could result in significant losses and could weaken our financial condition.

Changes in tax laws in any of the jurisdictions in which we operate or in which we establish holding companies, or adverse outcomes from tax audits could cause fluctuations in our overall tax rate and adversely impact our operating results.

Our income taxes consist of the consolidation of tax provisions computed on a separate entity basis, for each country in which we have operations. Changes in the sources of income, agreements we have with taxing authorities or our tax filing positions in various jurisdictions could cause our overall tax rate to fluctuate significantly. In addition, changes in rules related to the accounting for income taxes or changes in applicable tax laws and regulations, including tax laws that impact our current company structure, could adversely affect our tax expense, profitability, and cash flows. In the U.S., the current administration may implement substantial changes and reforms to fiscal and tax policies. We cannot predict the impact, if any, of these potential changes to our business. However, such changes could adversely affect our business, financial position and results of operations.

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We must comply with complex and evolving tax regulations in the various jurisdictions in which we operate, which subjects us to international tax compliance risks. Some tax jurisdictions have complex and subjective rules about income tax, value-added tax, sales or excise tax, tariffs, duties and transfer tax. From time to time, our subsidiaries are subject to tax audits and may be required to pay additional taxes, interest or penalties if a taxing authority asserts different interpretations, allocations or valuations, which could be material and reduce our income and cash flow from our international operations. The imposition of any penalties and costs of litigation, regardless of an eventual favorable ruling, in connection with current or future tax disputes related to our international operations could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

In addition, adverse outcomes from tax audits in any of our major tax or operating jurisdictions, such as the U.S., Luxembourg, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Kenya, or Japan, could materially adversely impact our operating results. For example, in connection with a current examination of the tax returns in two of these foreign jurisdictions, the taxing authorities have issued income tax deficiencies related to transfer pricing aggregating approximately $144.8 million (including interest and penalties) for tax years 2012 through 2016. We strongly disagree with the proposed adjustments and we expect to exhaust all administrative and judicial remedies necessary in each jurisdiction to resolve the matters. However, these matters may not be resolved in our favor, and an adverse outcome of either matter, or any future tax examinations involving similar assertions, could have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Risks Related to Environmental Concerns

Our agricultural plantings are potentially subject to damage from crop disease or insect infestations, which could adversely impact our operating results and financial condition.

Fresh produce is vulnerable to crop disease and insect infestations, which vary in severity and effect based on the stage of production, the type of treatment applied and climatic conditions. Such diseases or infestations may adversely affect our supply of fresh produce items, reduce our sales volumes, increase our production costs or impair our ability to ship products as planned.

In 2019, we detected Banana Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 (“TR4”), a serious vascular crop disease, infecting one of our principal products, the Cavendish variety of bananas, in some areas of Southeast Asia where we source our products. TR4 and other vascular crop diseases cause low-yielding banana plants, which resulted in impairment charges of $2.1 million in 2019, $1.1 million in 2020 and $0.3 million in 2021. These crop diseases remain a concern for us and our suppliers in Southeast Asia and may spread to other critical growing regions like Latin America, leading to the destruction of all or a portion of the respective banana crops.

We are working with agricultural experts and qualified agencies to monitor and prevent the spread of TR4 and develop contingency plans. We have and will continue to incur costs to improve our prevention strategies and to identify solutions to the spread of the disease, which may adversely impact our operating profit. In our farming operations in Central America and Asia, we incurred costs of $2.2 million in 2021, $1.6 million in 2020, and $0.6 million in 2019 to prevent and control the spread of TR4. In addition, we are seeking to develop a replacement to the Cavendish variety of banana that appeals broadly to consumers and is resistant to these diseases through our partnership with Queensland University of Technology. These research efforts have cost us approximately $0.9 million through fiscal 2021, and we expect to spend approximately $0.7 million in 2022, $1.5 million in 2023, and $1.1 million in each of the years 2024 and 2025. Future costs are uncertain and will depend on the success of our initiatives and the extent of any continued spread of the disease, neither of which can be predicted.

Despite our efforts, we may be unable to prevent the spread of TR4. A long-term reduction in the supply of bananas resulting from the TR4 disease could lead to increased costs, decreased revenue, and charges to earnings that may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Efforts to develop a fully resistant plant may not succeed and if those efforts do succeed, fruits from fully resistant plants may not be marketable due to consumer preference or government regulation.

Adverse weather, natural disasters and other conditions affecting the environment, including the effects of climate change, could result in substantial losses and weaken our financial condition.

Fresh produce is vulnerable to adverse weather conditions, which are common but difficult to predict. The effects of natural disasters may be intensified by the ongoing global climate change. Severe weather conditions such as floods, droughts, windstorms, hurricanes and wildfires, and natural disasters, such as earthquakes, may adversely affect our supply of one or more fresh produce items, reduce our sales volumes, increase our unit production costs or prevent or impair our ability to ship products as planned. When severe weather, natural disasters, and other adverse environmental conditions (i) destroy crops planted on our farms or our suppliers’ farms or (ii) prevent us from exporting these crops on a timely basis, we may lose our
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investment in those crops and/or our costs of purchased fruit may increase. These risks can be exacerbated when a substantial portion of our production of a specific product is grown in one region, provided by a limited number of suppliers, or when it endangers one of our primary products.

In 2020, two hurricanes, Eta and Iota, impacted our farm operations in Guatemala. The hurricanes resulted in the destruction of certain areas of our banana and melon plantations which were flooded due to heavy rainfall, resulting in significant inventory write-offs and damages to our property, plant, and equipment. Separately, in the first quarter of 2021, we were adversely impacted by severe rainstorms in Chile, which caused damage to certain of our farms and resulted in $3.4 million in inventory write-offs.

Adverse weather may also impact our supply chains, preventing us from procuring necessary supplies and delivering our products to our customers. We own or lease, manage and operate manufacturing, processing, storage and office facilities, some of which are located in areas that are susceptible to harsh weather. We could be unable to accept and fulfill customer orders due to severe weather and natural disasters. Although we have business continuity plans, we cannot provide assurance that our business continuity plans will address all the issues we may encounter in the event of a disaster or other unanticipated issue. Such severe weather events that could materially disrupt our operations may occur with higher frequency because of climate change.

Water scarcity in our growing regions could adversely affect our agricultural operations, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Water is vital to grow the fresh produce that our business relies on. In recent years, water deficits in certain regions have become more evident. In Brazil, water shortages negatively impacted our banana production recently, and our pineapple farms in Kenya were affected by a drought linked to El Nino during 2016, 2017, and 2019. To mitigate water risks, we have invested heavily to upgrade existing infrastructure to more efficient irrigation systems like drip or low pressure/low volume sprinkler systems in Kenya and Guatemala. We analyze water related issues in the river basin where new development might be planned. Such analysis is a part of our due diligence before investing in agriculture operations, which increased our costs. In the event of water scarcity or deterioration, we may incur increased production costs or face production constraints that may materially and adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Climate change laws could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

Legislative and regulatory authorities in the U.S., the EU, Canada and other international jurisdictions will likely continue to consider measures related to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. To produce, manufacture and distribute our products, we and our suppliers use fuels, electricity and various other inputs, generate waste and undergo agricultural management activities that result in the release of greenhouse gas emissions.

Concerns about the environmental impacts of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions may result in environmental taxes, charges, assessments or penalties which could restrict or negatively impact our operations, as well as those of our suppliers who would likely pass all or a portion of their costs along to us. We may not be able to pass any resulting cost increases to our customers or customer buying patterns could change to reflect a greater reliance on local production rather than imports. Furthermore, we may be required to make additional investments of capital to maintain compliance with new laws and regulations. Any enactment of laws or passage of regulations regarding greenhouse gas emissions or other climate change laws in the jurisdictions where we conduct business could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Information Systems

Our information system assets may be made unavailable, leaked, or altered due to a cybersecurity incident, which could adversely affect the results of our operations, and we cannot predict the extent or duration of these incidents.

Our information technology systems may be subject to cybersecurity attacks or other security incidents which could result in disruptions to our operations, including, but not limited to, malicious software (malware, ransomware and viruses), phishing and social engineering, unauthorized access to networks, computer systems and data, malicious or negligent actions of employees, and other forms of electronic security breaches that could lead to disruptions of our business systems and processes. In such cases, we may have to operate manually, which may result in considerable delays in the delivery of our products to our customers, damage to our perishable products, or interruption to other key business processes. Additionally, our customers could refuse to continue to do business with us and prematurely terminate or reduce existing contracts resulting in a significant
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adverse effect on our business. Reputational damage resulting from a cybersecurity attack may result in significant decline in consumer preference for our products in certain geographic regions or globally and could potentially reduce our market share.

Cybersecurity attacks may also result in the unauthorized access to or release of intellectual property, trade secrets and confidential business or otherwise protected information and corruption of our data. Such information could be leaked to competitors or the public which may result in loss of competitive position and market share. We also have personal confidential information stored in our systems which, if stolen or leaked, could result in significant financial and legal risk, including the risk of litigation or regulatory penalties under data protection legislation in the territories in which we operate, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (the “GDPR”) or the California Consumer Privacy Act in the U.S. (“CCPA”). We may also be subject to specific compliance obligations under various privacy laws, including the GDPR, CCPA, and associated laws and regulations. Interpretation of these emerging laws by various regulators presents challenges and risks to maintain compliance, including compliance with privacy notices, documentation, honoring data subject rights, and cross-border transfers of personal information. Although we strive to comply with all applicable privacy laws, it is possible we could be subject to enforcement actions and litigation alleging non-compliance.

Additionally, we rely on relationships with third parties, including suppliers, customers, contractors, cloud data storage and other information technology service providers and external business partners, for services in support of our operations, and we may share data or provide access to our networks with such third parties who are subject to similar risks as we are relating to cybersecurity and privacy issues. While we have procedures in place for selecting and managing our relationships with third-party service providers and other business partners, we do not have control over their business operations or governance and compliance systems, practices and procedures, which increases our financial, legal, reputational and operational risk. These third parties may experience cybersecurity incidents that could pose a threat to our network or that may involve data we share with them or rely on them to provide to us or result in a significant business interruption that could have an adverse impact on our business.

Although we have implemented processes and technologies to help identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover from the above cybersecurity and privacy risks, these measures may not succeed in preventing or limiting the impact of such risks. Moreover, actual or anticipated attacks may require us to incur incremental costs to hire additional personnel, purchase additional protection technologies, replace existing software and hardware, train employees, and engage third-party experts and consultants and therefore could negatively impact our operating income. We may also become exposed to potential liabilities with respect to the data that we collect, manage and process, and future investigations, lawsuits or adverse publicity relating to our methods of handling data could adversely affect our business due to the costs and negative market reaction relating to such developments.

Our operations and reputation may be impaired if our information technology systems fail to perform adequately.

Our information technology systems are critical to our business. We rely on our information technology systems, some of which are or may be managed, hosted by or outsourced to third party service providers, to manage our business data, communications, supply chain, order entry and fulfillment, and other business processes. If we do not allocate and effectively manage the resources necessary to build, sustain, and protect appropriate information technology systems and infrastructure, or we do not effectively implement system upgrades or oversee third party service providers, our business or financial results could be negatively impacted. If our information technology systems fail to perform as we anticipate, we may experience transaction or reporting errors, processing inefficiencies and the loss of sales and customers, causing our business and results of operations to suffer.
Risks Related to Our Financing
Our indebtedness could limit our financial and operating flexibility and subject us to other risks.

Our ability to obtain additional debt financing or refinance our debt on acceptable terms, if at all, in the future for working capital, capital expenditures or acquisitions may be limited by financial considerations or due to covenants in existing debt agreements. Our current credit facility imposes certain operating and financial restrictions on us. Our failure to comply with the obligations under this facility, including maintenance of financial ratios, could result in an event of default, which, if not cured or waived, would permit the lender to accelerate the indebtedness due under the facility.

As a holding company, our ability to meet our financial obligations depends on receiving sufficient funds from our subsidiaries. The payment of dividends or other distributions to us by our subsidiaries may be limited by the provisions of our credit agreements and other contractual requirements and by applicable legal restrictions on payment of dividends and other distributions.
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If we were unable to meet our financial obligations, we would be forced to pursue one or more alternative strategies, such as selling assets, restructuring or refinancing our indebtedness or seeking additional equity capital, strategies which could be unsuccessful. Additional sales of our equity capital could substantially dilute the ownership interest of existing shareholders.

Inability to access bank credit, or capital markets, could materially adversely affect our liquidity, borrowing costs, financial position, and results of operations.

We depend on a stable, liquid, and well-functioning global financial system for our operations and capital investments. We believe that we have sufficient credit availability and resources to meet our foreseeable liquidity and capital needs, but a disruption in the availability of liquid bank debt or credit markets, including changes to our cost of funds or changes in terms and conditions could impact our financial position, our results of operations or our ability to fund capital projects. The impact of changes in the global financial system could also negatively impact our suppliers and customers which could adversely impact our results of operations.

Changes in interest rates and cessation of LIBOR could adversely affect our earnings and/or cash flows.

Our commercial loans are made at variable interest rates, which causes our financial result to fluctuate. We have historically relied on LIBOR benchmarks to determine the amounts of payments or applicable interest for certain of our loans, but in 2017, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority announced that it intended to stop persuading or compelling banks to submit LIBOR rates after 2021. In March 2021, the ICE Benchmark Administration Limited, which administrates LIBOR, extended the transition dates of certain LIBOR tenors to June 30, 2023, after which LIBOR reference rates will no longer be provided. Regardless of this deferral, the administrator of LIBOR has advised that no new contracts using U.S. dollar LIBOR should be entered into after December 31, 2021. It is unclear whether banks will continue to voluntarily submit rates to calculate LIBOR, or whether LIBOR will continue to be published by its administrator based on these submissions, or any other basis, after December 31, 2021.

Some regulators, industry groups and committees such as the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) have, among other things, suggested fallback language for LIBOR-linked financial instruments, identified recommended alternatives for certain LIBOR rates, such as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) as an alternative to U.S. dollar LIBOR, and proposed the implementation of the recommended alternatives in floating rate instruments. It is currently unclear if and how these recommendations will be broadly accepted, whether they will continue to evolve, and how their implementation would affect the market for floating-rate financial instruments. We are not able to predict the impact that these developments, or any discontinuance, modification or other reforms may have on LIBOR, other benchmarks or floating-rate debt instruments. Any such discontinuance, modification, alternative reference rates or other reforms may materially and negatively affect interest rates on our current or future indebtedness.

Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure
Our principal shareholders are able to significantly influence all matters requiring shareholder approval.

Members of the Abu-Ghazaleh family, including our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and one of our directors, are our principal shareholders. As of February 11, 2022, they together directly owned 29.5% of our outstanding Ordinary Shares, and our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer holds, and is expected to continue to hold, an irrevocable proxy to vote all of these shares. We expect our principal shareholders to continue to use their interest in our Ordinary Shares to influence the direction of our management, the election of our directors and to determine substantially all other matters requiring shareholder approval. The concentration of our beneficial ownership may delay, deter, or prevent a change in control, may discourage bids for the Ordinary Shares at a premium over their market price and may otherwise adversely affect the market price of the Ordinary Shares.

Our organizational documents contain certain anti-takeover provisions that could delay, deter or prevent a change in control.

Various provisions of our organizational documents and Cayman Islands law may delay, deter or prevent a change in control of us that is not approved by our board of directors. These provisions include:
a classified board of directors;
a prohibition on shareholder action through written consents;
a requirement that general meetings of shareholders be called only by a majority of the Board or by the Chairman of the Board;
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advance notice requirements for shareholder proposals and nominations;
limitations on the ability of shareholders to amend, alter or repeal our organizational documents; and
the authority of the Board to issue preferred shares on such terms that are determined by the Board itself.

In addition, a change of control would constitute an event of default under our current credit facility, which would have a material adverse effect on us. These provisions also could delay, deter or prevent a takeover attempt.

Our shareholders have limited rights under Cayman Islands law.

We are incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands, and our corporate affairs are governed by our Amended and Restated Memorandum and Articles of Association and by the Companies Law of the Cayman Islands. Legal principles related to the validity of corporate procedures, the fiduciary duties of our management, directors and controlling shareholders and the rights of our shareholders differ from those that would apply if we were incorporated in a jurisdiction within the U.S. Further, the rights of shareholders under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as the rights of shareholders under legislation or judicial precedent applicable in most U.S. jurisdictions. As a result, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions by the management, directors or controlling shareholders than they might have as shareholders of a U.S. corporation. In addition, it is unclear whether the courts of the Cayman Islands would enforce, either in an original action or in an action for enforcement of judgments of U.S. courts, liabilities that are predicated upon the U.S. federal securities laws.

General Risks
Our success depends on the services of our senior executives, the loss of any one of which could disrupt our operations.

Our ability to maintain our competitive position is dependent to a large degree on the services of our senior management team and other key employees. Our future success depends upon our ability to attract and retain executive officers and other senior management, especially to support our current operations as well as our current business strategy. Our business may be negatively affected if we are unable to retain our existing senior management personnel or attract additional qualified senior management personnel. Competition for these individuals is intense and our business may be adversely affected if we are not effective in filling critical leadership positions or in assimilating new executive talent into our organization.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.
Item 2.Properties
The following table summarizes the approximate plantation acreage under production that are owned or leased by us and the principal products grown on such plantations by location as of the end of 2021:
 
 Acres Under Production 
LocationAcres OwnedAcres LeasedProducts
Costa Rica45,865 5,503 Bananas, Pineapples, Melons
Philippines— 15,611 Bananas, Pineapples
Guatemala8,475 5,589 Bananas, Melons
Kenya— 8,009 Pineapples
Chile3,036 1,729 Non-Tropical Fruit
Panama— 2,399 Bananas
Brazil1,820 — Bananas, Other Crops
United States550 — Melons and Other Crops
 



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Our significant properties include the following, which all relate to our fresh and value-added products or banana segments unless otherwise noted:

North America

We operate a total of 27 distribution centers in the United States and Canada, of which 15 are also fresh-cut facilities. We own 11 of our distribution centers, including our distribution center in Houston, Texas, a 200,000 square foot distribution center in Dallas, Texas, distribution centers in Plant City, Florida and Goodyear, Arizona, a repack facility in Winder, Georgia, and in Kankakee, Illinois, and Portland, Oregon. We also operate a state-of-the-art distribution center with a fresh-cut facility in Ontario, Canada on owned land. In 2020, we commenced operations at a new production facility on owned land in Gonzales, California and we also own one production facility in the Salinas valley of California as well as a manufacturing facility and a cooling facility, both in Yuma, Arizona. The remaining 16 distribution centers are leased from third parties. All of our distribution centers have ripening capabilities and/or other value-added services. We own an avocado packing facility in Uruapan, Mexico. We also lease four port facilities that include cold storage capabilities.

Europe

We own and operate a distribution center in the Frankfurt area of Germany. We also own and operate a fresh-cut fruit facility in Wisbech, England. In Larissa, Greece, we own and operate a production facility for prepared fruit, tomato products and snacks.

Asia

Our products are distributed from four leased distribution centers located at strategic ports in Japan with cold storage. In Japan, we also operate three fresh-cut fruit facilities. One is owned and the other two are leased. In Hong Kong, we lease a distribution center. In addition, we lease two distribution centers in South Korea and own one facility that includes a fresh-cut fruit and vegetable operation. Our distribution centers include state-of-the art ripening technology and other value-added services.

Central America
    
In Costa Rica, we own a juice processing plant, an IQF (individually quick frozen) fruit processing plant, and greenhouses where we produce tomatoes and other vegetables for sale in the local market. In Guatemala, we own and operate greenhouses where we produce tomatoes for export. In Panama, we have a banana operation on leased land; approximately 2,400 acres of this leased land were under production at the end of 2021.

South America

In Brazil, we own approximately 28,000 acres of land of which 1,800 acres are under production. In Uruguay, we own approximately 7,800 acres of which 4,200 acres are leased to a third party.

Africa

In Thika, Kenya, we own and operate a warehouse, a pineapple cannery, a fresh pineapple packing facility, and a juice production facility.

Middle East

In Jordan, we own an integrated poultry business including poultry farms, hatcheries, a feed mill, a poultry slaughterhouse and a meat processing plant which relate to our other products and services segment. In Jordan, we also own a 25 acre hydroponic greenhouse on leased land. In the UAE, we lease a combined distribution/manufacturing center in Dubai. This state-of-the-art facility includes fresh-cut fruit and vegetable operations, an ultra fresh juice manufacturing operation and prepared food manufacturing. In Saudi Arabia, we own 60% of a joint venture that operates two owned distribution centers strategically located in Jeddah and Riyadh, with banana ripening, cold storage facilities and fresh-cut products and prepared food manufacturing capabilities. In Kuwait, we have an F&B store and we lease a facility for manufacturing and/or distribution of fresh-cut and fresh produce, and ultra-fresh juices.

Other Properties

We own our U.S. executive headquarters building in Coral Gables, Florida, our Central America regional headquarters building in San Jose, Costa Rica and our South America regional headquarters building in Santiago, Chile. We own our office space in
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Guatemala City, Guatemala and Amman, Jordan. Our remaining office space in North America, Europe, Asia, Central and South America and the Middle East is leased from third parties.

Item 3.Legal Proceedings

Kunia Well Site

Refer to Note 15, Commitments and Contingencies for further information regarding this matter.

Tax related matters

In connection with a current examination of the tax returns in two foreign jurisdictions, the taxing authorities have issued income tax deficiencies related to transfer pricing aggregating approximately $144.8 million (including interest and penalties) for tax years 2012 through 2016. We strongly disagree with the proposed adjustments and have filed a protest with each of the taxing authorities as we believe that the proposed adjustments are without technical merit.

In one of the foreign jurisdictions, we filed an appeal to the administrative decision in judicial court on April 30, 2020. On September 10, 2020, we were notified that we lost our final appeal at the administrative level for the audit years 2012-2015, and likewise on October 7, 2021 for the audit year 2016. For the audit years 2012-2015 and 2016, we have filed a request for an injunction in judicial court which would defer payment, if any, until the end of the judicial process. For the audit year 2016, our preliminary injunction was granted. For the audit year 2016, we filed a case in judicial court on January 3, 2022 to appeal the administrative decision. On January 14, 2022, we requested the consolidation of both injunction requests for audit years 2012-2015 and 2016.

In the other foreign jurisdiction, the administrative process has been completed and we filed a case in judicial court on March 4, 2020 to appeal the administrative decision.

We will continue to vigorously contest the adjustments and to exhaust all administrative and judicial remedies necessary in both jurisdictions to resolve the matters, which could be a lengthy process.


Item 4.Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.


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PART II
 
Item 5.Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market for our Ordinary Shares

Our Ordinary Shares are traded solely on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol FDP, and commenced trading on October 24, 1997, the date of our initial public offering.

As of February 11, 2022, we had 321 shareholders of record, which excludes shareholders whose shares were held by brokerage firms, depositories and other institutional firms.

Dividends

Holders of our Ordinary Shares are entitled to receive dividends when and if they are declared by our Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors declared and paid a cash dividend of $0.10 per share during the first and second quarters of 2021 and a cash dividend of $0.15 per share during the third and fourth quarters of 2021. In addition, on February 22, 2022, our Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.15 per share, payable on April 1, 2022 to shareholders of record on March 9, 2022. The declaration, amount and payment of future dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon many factors, including our results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements, restrictions in our debt agreements and other factors that our Board of Directors deem relevant.

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Performance Graph

The following graph compares the cumulative five-year total return of holders of FDP ordinary shares with the cumulative total returns of the S&P Smallcap 600 and S&P 600 Food Products indexes. The graph tracks the performance of a $100 investment in our common stock and in each of the indexes (with the reinvestment of all dividends) from December 30, 2016 to December 31, 2021.

fdp-20211231_g5.jpg
 12/30/201612/29/201712/28/201812/27/20191/1/202112/31/2021
Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.100.00 79.55 47.73 59.75 41.47 48.33 
S&P Smallcap 600100.00 113.23 103.63 127.24 141.60 179.58 
S&P 600 Food Products100.00 90.75 83.98 95.27 89.38 98.80 
 
The stock price performance included in this graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.
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Item 6.Reserved


Item 7.Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the information contained in our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto. The following discussion includes forward-looking statements that involve certain risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those described in Item 1A. Risk Factors. Our actual results may differ materially from those discussed below. See “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Overview

We are one of the world’s leading vertically integrated producers, marketers and distributors of high-quality fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, as well as a leading producer and marketer of prepared fruit and vegetables, juices, beverages and snacks in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. We market our products worldwide under the Del Monte® brand, a symbol of product innovation, quality, freshness and reliability since 1892. Our major sales markets are organized as follows: North America, Europe (which includes Kenya), the Middle East (which includes North Africa) and Asia. Our global sourcing and logistics system allows us to provide regular delivery of consistently high-quality produce and value-added services to our customers. Our major producing operations are located in North, Central and South America, Asia and Africa.

Our business is comprised of three reportable segments, two of which represent our primary businesses of fresh and value-added products and banana, and one that represents our other ancillary businesses.

Fresh and value-added products - includes pineapples, fresh-cut fruit, fresh-cut vegetables (which includes fresh-cut salads), melons, vegetables, non-tropical fruit (including grapes, apples, citrus, blueberries, strawberries, pears, peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries and kiwis), other fruit and vegetables, avocados, and prepared foods (including prepared fruit and vegetables, juices, other beverages, and meals and snacks).

Banana

Other products and services - includes our ancillary businesses consisting of sales of poultry and meat products, a plastic product business, and third-party freight services.

Fiscal Year

Our fiscal year end is the last Friday of the calendar year or the first Friday subsequent to the end of the calendar year, whichever is closest to the end of the calendar year. Fiscal year 2021 had 52 weeks and ended on December 31, 2021. Fiscal year 2020 had 53 weeks and ended on January 1, 2021. Fiscal year 2019 had 52 weeks and ended on December 27, 2019.

COVID-19 Pandemic Impact

In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) a global pandemic. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken various preventative and protective measures to support our team members, customers, suppliers, and local communities. These measures included additional operating procedures and safety protocols at our production facilities, continuous monitoring of our supply chain contingency plans to mitigate service disruptions, and staying abreast of guidance from health officials and governmental authorities to determine any additional restrictions to put in place at each of our locations. These measures have allowed us to maintain our commitment to providing healthy, convenient and safe Del Monte® branded products around the world during this critical time.

The COVID-19 pandemic began having a material adverse impact on our results of operations during the first quarter of 2020 which continued, to a lesser extent, through fiscal 2021. Government imposed mandatory closures and restrictions across various of our key global markets have resulted in volatile supply and demand conditions for certain of our products as well as reduced demand in our foodservice distribution channel, factors which continue to persist through the date of this report. During fiscal 2020, we were also negatively impacted by service cancellations and containers that could not clear at certain ports in Asia as well as increased expenses, particularly in our farming operations in Central America where we incurred incremental costs to implement social distancing protocols and more frequent cleaning cycles. While service at the ports improved during
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fiscal 2021, to the extent that various regions of the world implement significant shut-downs we could experience similar delays in a future period.

Furthermore, during fiscal 2021, the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the current economic climate resulted in inflationary and cost pressures that have significantly increased, and continue to adversely impact, our production and distribution costs, including costs of packaging materials, fertilizer, labor, fuel, and inland freight. We are also experiencing pressure in our supply chain due to strained transportation capacity and lack of sufficient labor availability. These factors led to increased costs in our banana and fresh and value-added products business segments, most notably in the second half of 2021. In response to these inflationary and cost pressures, we instituted price increases on bananas, pineapples and fresh-cut fruit which went into effect in the latter part of the fourth quarter. While we expect that these inflation-justified price increases will continue to mitigate our increased costs, we believe these unfavorable market conditions will continue to negatively impact our gross profit in future periods.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and accordingly, the pace of the recovery from the pandemic as well as the potential impact of new variants or significant resurgences are not presently known. Although we believe that we will ultimately emerge from these events well positioned for long-term growth, the uncertainties with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic remain and, as such, we cannot reasonably estimate the duration or extent of its adverse impact on our business, operating results, and long-term liquidity position.

Refer to the “Results of Operations" section below, as well as Part I. Item 1A, “Risk Factors” for further discussion.
 
Optimization Program

During fiscal 2020, we performed a comprehensive review of our asset portfolio aimed at identifying non-strategic and underutilized assets to dispose of while reducing costs and driving further efficiencies in our operations (hereon referred to as the “Optimization Program”). As a result of the review, we identified assets across all of our regions which we made a strategic decision to sell for total anticipated cash proceeds of approximately $100.0 million. These assets primarily consist of underutilized facilities and land, and those still pending to be sold are currently reflected in assets held for sale on our Consolidated Balance Sheet. As of the year ended December 31, 2021, we have received cash proceeds of $57.0 million in connection with asset sales under the Optimization Program (approximately $40.0 million of which was received in our 2020 fiscal year). Due to challenging market conditions which have resulted in delays of some of the asset sales, in part driven by COVID-19 travel restrictions, we anticipate that the completion of the program will extend beyond the originally anticipated timeframe of the first quarter of 2022.

Included as part of this Optimization Program was the consolidation of our Mann Packing operations from four facilities into one facility in Gonzales, California. The consolidation of Mann Packing allowed us the advantage of processing fresh-cut fruit and fresh-cut vegetables in one facility in the Salinas Valley and will enable us to continue to optimize labor and distribution costs. While we have realized cost savings in connection with the consolidation of our Mann Packing operations during the year ended December 31, 2021, our financial results for this business continue to be negatively impacted by reduced demand in our foodservice distribution channel and increased production and distribution costs which have adversely affected gross profit in our fresh and value-added products business segment.

Net Sales

Our net sales are affected by numerous factors, including mainly the balance between the supply of and demand for our products and competition from other fresh produce companies. Our net sales are also dependent on our ability to supply a consistent volume and quality of fresh produce to the markets we serve. As a result of seasonal sales price fluctuations, we have historically realized a greater portion of our net sales and gross profit during the first two calendar quarters of the year. For example, seasonal variations in demand for bananas as a result of increased supply and competition from other fruit are reflected in the seasonal fluctuations of banana prices, with the first six months of each year generally exhibiting stronger demand and higher prices, except in those years where an excess supply exists.  In our fresh and value-added products segment, there are seasonal variations in sales of our non-tropical fruit products which reach peak sales season from October to May.

Our strategy for net sales growth is focused on protecting and growing our core business as well as driving innovation and expansion of our value-added categories, including through the development of new products and by targeting the convenience store and foodservice trade in our major global markets. In North America, we expect additional net sales growth by further expanding the market reach of our Mann Packing products including fresh and fresh-cut vegetables and meals and snacks.

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Since our financial reporting currency is the U.S. dollar, our net sales are significantly affected by fluctuations in the value of the currency in which we conduct our sales versus the dollar, with a weaker dollar versus such currencies resulting in increased net sales in dollar terms. Including the effect of our foreign currency hedges, net sales in 2021 were positively impacted by $43.3 million primarily due to fluctuations in exchange rates versus the euro, British pound, and Korean won.

Cost of Products Sold

Cost of products sold is primarily composed of two elements:

Product costs - primarily composed of cultivation (the cost of growing crops), harvesting, packaging, labor, depreciation and farm administration. Product cost for produce obtained from independent growers is composed of procurement and packaging costs.

Logistics costs - include land and sea transportation and expenses related to port facilities and distribution centers. Sea transportation cost is the most significant component of logistics costs and is comprised of:

Ship operating expenses - include operations, maintenance, depreciation, insurance, fuel (the cost of which is subject to commodity price fluctuations), and port charges.

Chartered ship costs - include the cost of chartering the ships, fuel and port charges.

Container equipment-related costs - include leasing expense and in the case of owned equipment, also depreciation expense.

Third-party containerized shipping costs - include the cost of using third-party shipping in our logistics operations.

In general, changes in our volume of products sold can have a disproportionate effect on our gross profit. Within any particular year, a significant portion of our cost of products sold is fixed, both with respect to our operations and with respect to the cost of produce purchased from independent growers from whom we have agreed to purchase all the products they produce. Accordingly, higher volumes produced on company-owned farms directly reduce the average per-box cost, while lower volumes directly increase the average per-box cost. In addition, because the volume that will actually be produced on our farms and by independent growers in any given year depends on a variety of factors, including weather, that are beyond our control or the control of our independent growers, it is difficult to predict volumes and per-box costs.

Variations in containerboard prices, which affect the cost of boxes and other packaging materials, and fuel prices can have a significant impact on our product costs and our gross profit. Containerboard, plastic, resin and fuel prices have historically been volatile. Our expenses relating to employee labor are also significant to our product costs and our gross profit, and our ability to control these costs is generally subject to numerous external factors. Also, variations in the production yields, fertilizers and other input costs and the cost to procure products from independent growers can have a significant impact on our costs.

Since our financial reporting currency is the U.S. dollar, our costs are affected by fluctuations in the value of the currency in which we have significant operations versus the dollar, with lower cost resulting from a stronger U.S. dollar. During 2021, cost of products sold was negatively impacted by approximately $11.1 million, primarily driven by fluctuations in exchange rates versus the Mexican peso, British pound and euro, partially offset by the positive impact of a stronger dollar compared to the Costa Rican colon.

Income Taxes
 
The provision for income taxes in 2021 was $2.0 million. Income taxes consist of the consolidation of the tax provisions, computed on a separate entity basis, in each country in which we have operations. Since we are a non-U.S. company with substantial operations outside the United States, a substantial portion of our results of operations is not subject to U.S. taxation. Several of the countries in which we operate have lower tax rates than the United States. We are subject to U.S. taxation on our operations in the United States. From time to time, tax authorities in various jurisdictions in which we operate audit our tax returns and review our tax positions. There are audits presently pending in various countries. There can be no assurance that any tax audits, or changes in existing tax laws or interpretations in countries in which we operate will not result in an increased effective tax rate for us.

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In connection with a current examination of the tax returns in two foreign jurisdictions, the taxing authorities have issued income tax deficiencies related to transfer pricing aggregating approximately $144.8 million (including interest and penalties) for tax years 2012 through 2016. We strongly disagree with the proposed adjustments and have filed a protest with each of the taxing authorities as we believe that the proposed adjustments are without technical merit.

In one of the foreign jurisdictions, we filed an appeal to the administrative decision in judicial court on April 30, 2020. On September 10, 2020, we were notified that we lost our final appeal at the administrative level for the audit years 2012-2015, and likewise on October 7, 2021 for the audit year 2016. For the audit years 2012-2015 and 2016, we have filed a request for an injunction in judicial court which would defer payment, if any, until the end of the judicial process. For the audit year 2016, our preliminary injunction was granted. For the audit year 2016, we filed a case in judicial court on January 3, 2022 to appeal the administrative decision. On January 14, 2022, we requested the consolidation of both injunction requests for audit years 2012-2015 and 2016.

In the other foreign jurisdiction, the administrative process has been completed and we filed a case in judicial court on March 4, 2020 to appeal the administrative decision.

We will continue to vigorously contest the adjustments and to exhaust all administrative and judicial remedies necessary in both jurisdictions to resolve the matters, which could be a lengthy process.

We regularly assess the likelihood of adverse outcomes resulting from examinations such as these to determine the adequacy of our tax reserves. Accordingly, we have not accrued any additional amounts based upon the proposed adjustments. There can be no assurance that these matters will be resolved in our favor, and an adverse outcome of either matter, or any future tax examinations involving similar assertions, could have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 
Consolidated Financial Results

The following summarizes the more significant factors impacting our operating results for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 as compared with the fiscal year ended January 1, 2021. For a discussion of our 2020 Results of Operations, including a discussion of our financial results for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2021 compared to the fiscal year ended December 27, 2019, refer to Part II, Item 7 of our annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 24, 2021.

 
 Year ended
December 31, 2021January 1, 2021December 27, 2019
Net sales$4,252.0 $4,202.3 $4,489.0 
Gross profit303.8 250.9 306.4 
Selling, general and
administrative expenses
192.9 196.2 201.5 
Operating income 111.0 76.5 114.1 

Net Sales - Net sales for 2021 increased $49.7 million, or 1%, when compared with 2020. The increase in net sales for 2021 was attributable to higher net sales in our other products and services segment, which includes third-party freight services and our poultry and meats category, and our fresh and value-added products segment. The increase was partially offset by a decrease in net sales in our banana segment. Additionally, our fiscal year cycles impacted comparability between the periods, as the 2021 fiscal year consisted of 52 weeks compared to 53 weeks in 2020. The additional week in the prior-year period contributed an estimated $72.0 million in net sales. Therefore, on a comparable basis which adjusts for the additional week in the prior-year period, net sales for 2021 increased by approximately $122.0 million, or 3%.

Net sales for 2021 were also positively impacted by fluctuations in exchange rates versus the euro, British pound, and Korean won.

Gross Profit - Gross profit for 2021 increased $52.9 million, or 21%, when compared with 2020. In the first half of 2021, despite inflationary and other cost pressures, gross profit benefited from strong performance across all of our segments. The increase was primarily driven by improved demand on key product categories related to relaxed restrictions on social gatherings in some of our key markets while the banana segment realized higher per unit selling prices compared to the first half of 2020.
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The higher banana pricing helped offset incremental production and procurement costs following the damages caused by two hurricanes in Central America in the fourth quarter of 2020. In the second half of 2021, inflationary and cost pressures intensified, coupled with the impact of strained transportation capacity and lack of sufficient labor availability which led to higher per unit production and distribution costs, specifically related to packaging materials, fertilizers, inland freight, labor and fuel when compared with the prior-year period. Gross profit in 2020 included $33.6 million of other product-related charges as compared with $3.5 million of other product-related charges in 2021. Other product-related charges in 2020 included $23.8 million in write-offs due to supply and demand disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and $12 million in inventory write-offs resulting from hurricane damage to our melon and banana operations in Guatemala which were partially offset by $3.3 million in insurance recoveries associated with the storms. As a result of these factors, gross margin increased 110 basis points to 7.1% in 2021 from 6.0% in 2020. As above-mentioned, our 2021 fiscal year consisted of 52 weeks compared to 53 weeks in 2020, and we estimate that the additional week in the prior-year period contributed an estimated $2.6 million in gross profit.

Gross profit in 2021 was also positively impacted by fluctuations in exchange rates versus the euro, Costa Rican colon, British pound, and Korean Won, partially offset by a stronger Mexican peso.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses - Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased $3.3 million, or 2%, when compared to the prior-year period. The decrease was primarily due to lower selling, general and administrative expenses in the Middle East and North America, mainly as a result of a lower provision for credit losses and lower promotional expenses.

Gain on Disposal of Property, Plant and Equipment, Net - The gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment, net of $4.6 million during 2021 primarily related to the sales of a refrigerated vessel, vacant land in the Middle East, and a packing facility in South America. The gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment, net of $22.2 million during 2020 primarily related to the sales of surplus lands in Chile, a facility in the Middle East, and two facilities in North America. The gains in both periods were partially offset by losses on asset disposals, mainly in Central America.

Asset Impairment and Other Charges, Net - Asset impairment and other charges, net, were $4.5 million in 2021 as compared with $0.4 million in 2020. Asset impairments and other charges, net, for 2021 primarily related to fixed asset impairments and other expenses incurred in connection with our exit from two low-yield banana farms in the Philippines, partially offset by a $(0.8) million insurance recovery associated with damages to certain of our banana segment fixed assets in Guatemala caused by hurricanes Eta and Iota in the fourth quarter of 2020. Asset impairments and other charges, net, for 2020 primarily related to (1) an insurance recovery related to the 2019 voluntary product recall, (2) asset impairments, mainly related to certain of our North America, Middle East, and European production facilities and low-yielding banana plants in the Philippines, (3) asset impairments in Guatemala associated with damages caused by the hurricanes discussed above, (4) a legal settlement charge, and (5) severance expense related to the reorganization of our North America sales and marketing function.

Operating Income - Operating income increased $34.5 million in 2021 when compared with 2020, mainly due to higher gross profit, partially offset by lower net gains on disposal of property, plant and equipment.

Interest Expense - Interest expense decreased by $1.1 million in 2021 when compared with 2020, primarily due to lower interest rates and lower average debt balances.

Other Expense (Income), Net - Other expense (income), net, was expense of $9.4 million for 2021 compared with expense of $4.5 million in 2020. The increase in expense of $4.9 million was mainly due to higher foreign exchange losses during 2021 when compared to the prior-year period.

Provision for Income Taxes - Provision for income taxes was $2.0 million in 2021 compared with $5.0 million in 2020. The decrease in the provision for income taxes of $3 million is primarily due to reduced earnings in certain higher tax jurisdictions offset by the effect of a change in judgment about our ability to realize deferred tax assets in future years, due to our current and foreseeable operations. The tax provision for 2020 includes a $4.7 million benefit relating to the NOL carryback provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was enacted in March 2020, combined with the benefit resulting from the restructuring of our European operations.

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Financial Results by Segment
The following table presents net sales and gross profit by segment, and in each case, the percentage of the total represented thereby (U.S. dollars in millions):
  
 Year ended
December 31, 2021January 1, 2021December 27, 2019
 (U.S. dollars in millions)
Net sales by segment:    
Fresh and value-added products$2,504.8 59 %$2,484.1 59 %$2,704.4 60 %
Banana1,581.1 37 %1,602.6 38 %1,656.0 37 %
Other products and services166.1 %115.6 %128.6 %
Total$4,252.0 100 %$4,202.3 100 %$4,489.0 100 %
Gross profit by segment:   
Fresh and value-added products$180.2 59 %$159.1 64 %$194.4 63 %
Banana110.9 37 %85.6 34 %106.6 35 %
Other products and services12.7 %6.2 %5.4 %
Total$303.8 100 %$250.9 100 %$306.4 100 %

Fresh and value-added products

Net sales in the fresh and value-added products segment increased by $20.7 million or 1%, when compared with 2020, primarily as a result of increased net sales of pineapples and fresh-cut fruit. The increase was partially offset by lower net sales of non-tropical fruit, vegetables, and fresh-cut vegetables. Furthermore, the additional week in the prior-year period contributed an estimated $42.0 million in net sales. On a comparable basis which adjusts for the additional week in the prior-year period, net sales for 2021 increased by approximately $63.0 million, or 3% compared to 2020.
Pineapple net sales increased across all regions, particularly in North America and Europe, driven by higher sales volume and higher per unit sales prices.
Fresh-cut fruit net sales increased across most regions, particularly Europe and North America, driven by higher sales volume and higher per unit sales prices.
Non-tropical fruit net sales decreased primarily in the Middle East. Overall, this year’s production volume was negatively impacted by the damage caused by severe rainstorms in Chile in the first quarter of 2021.
Vegetable and fresh-cut vegetable net sales decreased primarily in North America, including in our Mann Packing operations, driven by lower sales volume related to lower demand from the foodservice channel and lack of sufficient labor availability.
Gross profit in the fresh and value-added products segment increased $21.1 million or 13% compared to the prior-year period. Fiscal year 2020 included $25.4 million of other product-related charges comprised of inventory write-offs related to supply and demand disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and write-offs resulting from damages to our melon crops caused by hurricanes in Guatemala. In comparison, fiscal year 2021 included $4.7 million of other product-related charges, primarily associated with inventory write-offs caused by severe rainstorms in Chile. Additionally, higher per unit selling prices also benefited gross profit compared to the prior-year period. The increase was partially offset by inflationary and cost pressures, which resulted in higher per unit production and distribution costs. Gross margin increased 80 basis points to 7.2% in 2021 from 6.4% in 2020. As it relates to comparability, our 2021 fiscal year consisted of 52 weeks compared to 53 weeks in 2020 and we estimate that the additional week in the prior-year period contributed an additional $1.8 million in gross profit.

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From a product view, the increase in gross profit was primarily due to higher gross profit on pineapples, melons, and fresh-cut fruits. The increase was partially offset by lower gross profit on fresh-cut vegetables and avocados.
Pineapple gross profit increased across all regions driven by higher net sales partially offset by higher production and distribution costs.
Melon gross profit increased primarily in North America due to higher per unit sales prices of cantaloupes partially offset by higher production and distribution costs. Overall, our production volume in fiscal 2021 was negatively impacted by the damages caused by the hurricanes in Guatemala in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Fresh-cut fruit gross profit increased across all regions driven by higher net sales, partially offset by higher per unit distribution costs.
Fresh-cut vegetable gross profit decreased in North America, primarily in our Mann Packing operations, mainly driven by lower net sales coupled with higher per unit production and distribution costs.
Avocado gross profit decreased primarily in North America driven by lower sales volume coupled with higher per unit production and distribution costs.

Banana

Net sales of bananas decreased $21.5 million or 1%, primarily due to lower sales volume in North America. The decrease was partially offset by higher per unit sales prices in North America and Europe. The higher per unit sales prices helped offset incremental production and procurement costs following the hurricanes in Central America in the fourth quarter of 2020. As it relates to comparability, we estimate that the additional week in the prior-year fiscal period contributed an estimated $28.0 million in net sales. On a comparable basis which adjusts for the additional week in the prior-year period, net sales for 2021 increased by approximately $7.0 million, which is relatively in line with 2020.

Gross profit in the banana segment increased by $25.3 million or 30%, primarily due to our performance in North America and Europe. In both regions the increase was driven by higher per unit sales prices, partially offset by higher per unit production and distribution costs impacted by inflationary and cost pressures. Additionally, gross profit in 2020 included $8.0 million of inventory write-offs, net of insurance recoveries, driven by the Guatemala hurricanes described above as well as inventory write-offs related to supply and demand disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of these factors, gross margin increased 170 basis points to 7.0% in 2021 from 5.3% in 2020. We estimate that the additional week in the prior-year fiscal period contributed an estimated $0.8 million in gross profit.

Other products and services

Net sales of other products and services increased $50.5 million, or 44%, due to higher net sales of third-party freight services and poultry and meats in the Middle East.

Gross profit increased $6.5 million as a result of higher net sales. Gross margin increased to 7.6% from 5.4%.

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. is a holding company with limited business operations of its own. Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.'s only significant asset is the outstanding capital stock of our subsidiaries that directly or indirectly own all of our assets. We conduct all of our business operations through our subsidiaries. Accordingly, our only source of cash to pay our obligations, other than financings, depends primarily on the net earnings and cash flow generated by these subsidiaries.

Our primary sources of cash flow are net cash provided by operating activities and borrowings under our credit facility. Our primary uses of net cash flow are capital expenditures to increase and expand our product offerings and geographic reach, investments to increase our productivity and investments in businesses such as Mann Packing.





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A summary of our cash flows is as follows (U.S. dollars in millions):
 Year ended
December 31, 2021January 1, 2021December 27, 2019
Summary cash flow information:
Net cash provided by operating activities$128.5 $180.6 $169.1 
Net cash used in investing activities(82.5)(108.8)(52.2)
Net cash used in financing activities(53.2)(85.8)(108.9)
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash6.8 (2.8)4.0 
   Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents(0.4)(16.8)12.0 
   Cash and cash equivalents, beginning16.5 33.3 21.3 
   Cash and cash equivalents, ending$16.1 $16.5 $33.3 


Operating activities 

Net cash provided by operating activities was $128.5 million for 2021 compared with $180.6 million for 2020, a decrease of $52.1 million. The decrease in net cash provided by operating activities in 2021 compared to 2020 was principally attributable to higher levels of inventory, as we proactively increased inventory of key raw materials to secure costs and availability. Inventory was also impacted by the increase in cost of goods largely related to current cost pressures. Partially offsetting the decrease were higher net income and higher balances of accounts payable and accrued expenses, primarily due to the increase in inventory purchases combined with the timing of period end payments to suppliers.

Working capital was $467.2 million at December 31, 2021 compared with $457.5 million at January 1, 2021, an increase of $9.7 million. The increase in working capital was mainly due to higher levels of current assets, primarily higher levels of inventory as discussed above. Partially offsetting this decrease were lower levels of prepaid expenses and other current assets and higher levels of accounts payable and accrued expenses.

Investing activities

Net cash used in investing activities was $82.5 million for 2021 and $108.8 million for 2020. Net cash used in investing activities for 2021 primarily consisted of $98.5 million in capital expenditures, partially offset by $17.5 million in proceeds from the sales of property, plant and equipment and $4.6 million in proceeds from the settlement of derivative instruments no longer designated in hedging relationships. Net cash used in investing activities for 2021 also reflects $7.0 million in investments in unconsolidated companies. During fiscal 2022, we expect to make further equity investments in companies in the food and nutrition sector that align with our long-term strategy and vision.

Net cash used in investing activities for 2020 primarily consisted of $150.0 million in capital expenditures, partially offset by $39.5 million in proceeds from the sales of property, plant and equipment.

Capital expenditures related to the fresh and value-added products segment accounted for $29.5 million, or 30%, of our 2021 capital expenditures and $46.5 million, or 31%, of our 2020 capital expenditures. During 2021 and 2020, capital expenditures primarily related to (1) expansion and improvements to production facilities in Japan, North America, and Europe; (2) improvements to our pineapple operations in Central America; and (3) information technology initiatives in North America. During 2020, capital expenditures also related to the finalization of our new manufacturing facility in Gonzales, California and improvements to our non-tropical operations in Chile.

Capital expenditures related to the banana segment accounted for $20.0 million, or 20%, of total 2021 capital expenditures and $12.0 million, or 8% of total 2020 capital expenditures. During both years, these capital expenditures consisted primarily of (1) expansion and improvements to our production operations in Central America, including expansion of our Panama operations and (2) improvements to our distribution centers and for information technology initiatives.

Capital expenditures related to the other products and services segment accounted for $3.8 million, or 4%, of our 2021 capital expenditures and $0.7 million, or less than 1%, of our 2020 capital expenditures. During 2021 and 2020, these capital expenditures primarily related to improvements to our Jordanian poultry operations.
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During fiscal 2020, regulations designed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to improve air quality, preserve the environment and protect human health went into effect. The regulations imposed a global 0.5% sulfur cap for marine fuel which is now only permitted to be used by ships equipped with sulfur cleaning devices. In anticipation of this legislation, and in an effort to maximize the capacity and efficiency of our logistics network, we entered into definitive agreements for the building of six new refrigerated container ships during 2017 and 2018. These refrigerated container ships, four of which were received during fiscal 2020 and two of which were received during fiscal 2021, enable us the advantage of using lower cost fuel while remaining in compliance with the IMO’s regulations. We made payments of $45.3 million in 2021 and $89.0 million in 2020 in connection with these ships. These capital expenditures primarily benefit our banana and fresh and value-added products segments.

Our planned capital expenditures for 2022 primarily consist of (1) improvements to our operations and production facilities in North America, including investments in automation and technology initiatives, (2) improvements to our European fresh-cut facility and distribution centers, (3) expansion and improvements to our pineapple, banana, and melon operations in Central America, and (4) expenditures to ensure compliance with quality and food safety standards. These planned capital expenditures will benefit both our banana and fresh and value-added products segments. We expect to fund these capital expenditures through operating cash flows and bank borrowings.

Financing Activities

Net cash used in financing activities was $53.2 million for 2021 and $85.8 million for 2020. Net cash used in financing activities for 2021 consisted primarily of net payments on long-term debt of $22.6 million and dividends paid of $23.7 million. Net cash used in financing activities for 2020 consisted primarily of net payments on long-term debt of $45.0 million, repurchase and retirement of ordinary shares of $20.8 million and $14.3 million in dividends paid.

Debt Instruments and Debt Service Requirements

On October 1, 2019, we and certain of our subsidiaries entered into a Second Amended and Restated Credit Agreement (the “Second A&R Credit Agreement”) with the financial institutions and other lenders named therein, including Bank of America, N.A. as administrative agent and BofA Securities, Inc. as sole lead arranger and sole bookrunner. The Second A&R Credit Agreement provides for a five-year, $1.1 billion syndicated senior unsecured revolving credit facility (the “Revolving Credit Facility”) maturing on October 1, 2024. Certain of our direct and indirect subsidiaries have guaranteed the obligations under the Second A&R Credit Agreement. We intend to use funds borrowed under the Second A&R Credit Agreement from time to time for general corporate purposes, working capital, capital expenditures and other permitted investment opportunities.
Pursuant to the terms of the Second A&R Credit Agreement, amounts borrowed under the Revolving Credit Facility accrue interest, at our election, at either (i) the Eurocurrency Rate (as defined in the Second A&R Credit Agreement) plus a margin that ranges from 1.0% to 1.5% or (ii) the Base Rate (as defined in the Second A&R Credit Agreement) plus a margin that ranges from 0% to 0.5%, in each case based on our Consolidated Leverage Ratio (as defined in the Second A&R Credit Agreement). The Second A&R Credit Agreement interest rate grid provides for five pricing levels for interest rate margins. At December 31, 2021, we had borrowings of $519.1 million outstanding under the Revolving Credit Facility bearing interest at a per annum rate of 1.44%. In addition, we pay an unused commitment fee.
The Second A&R Credit Agreement provides for an accordion feature that permits us, without the consent of the other lenders, to request that one or more lenders provide us with increases in revolving credit facility or term loans up to an aggregate of $300 million (“Incremental Increases”). The aggregate amount of Incremental Increases can be further increased to the extent that after giving effect to the proposed increase in revolving credit facility commitments or term loans, our Consolidated Leverage Ratio, on a pro forma basis, would not exceed 2.50 to 1.00. Our ability to request such increases in the Revolving Credit Facility or term loans is subject to its compliance with customary conditions set forth in the Second A&R Credit Agreement including compliance, on a pro forma basis, with the financial covenants and ratios set forth therein. Upon our request, each lender may decide, in its sole discretion, whether to increase all or a portion of its revolving credit facility commitment or provide term loans.
The Second A&R Credit Agreement requires us to comply with certain financial and other covenants. Specifically, it requires us to maintain a 1) Consolidated Leverage Ratio of not more than 3.50 to 1.00 at any time during any period of four consecutive fiscal quarters, subject to certain exceptions and 2) a minimum Consolidated Interest Coverage Ratio of not less than 2.25 to 1.00 as of the end of any fiscal quarter. Additionally, it requires us to comply with certain other covenants, including limitations on capital expenditures, stock repurchases, the amount of dividends that can be paid in the future, the amount and types of liens and indebtedness, material asset sales, and mergers. Under the Second A&R Credit Agreement, we are permitted to declare or
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pay cash dividends in any fiscal year up to an amount that does not exceed the greater of (i) an amount equal to the greater of (A) 50% of the Consolidated Net Income (as defined in the Second A&R Credit Agreement) for the immediately preceding fiscal year or (B) $25 million or (ii) the greatest amount which would not cause the Consolidated Leverage Ratio (determined on a pro forma basis) to exceed 3.25 to 1.00. It also provides an annual allowance for stock repurchases to be an amount not exceeding the greater of (i) $150 million in the aggregate or (ii) the amount that, after giving pro forma effect thereto and any related borrowings, will not cause the Consolidated Leverage Ratio to exceed 3.25 to 1.00. As of December 31, 2021, we were in compliance with all of the financial and other covenants contained in the Second A&R Credit Agreement.

We have a renewable 364-day, $25 million letter of credit facility with Rabobank Nederland.

As of December 31, 2021, we had $606.5 million of borrowing availability under committed working capital facilities, primarily under the Revolving Credit Facility. 

As of December 31, 2021, we applied $28.4 million to letters of credit and bank guarantees issued from Rabobank Nederland, Bank of America, and other banks.
While we believe that our cash on hand, borrowing capacity available under our Revolving Credit Facility, and cash flows from operations for the next twelve months will be sufficient to service our outstanding debt during the next twelve months, we cannot predict whether future developments associated with the COVID-19 pandemic or the current economic environment will materially adversely affect our long-term liquidity position. Our liquidity assumptions, the adequacy of our available funding sources, and our ability to meet our Revolving Credit Facility covenants are dependent on many additional factors, including those set forth in Part II. Item 1A, “Risk Factors” of this annual report Form 10-K.

Derivatives

We are exposed to fluctuations in currency exchange rates against the U.S. dollar on our results of operations and financial condition and we mitigate that exposure by entering into foreign currency forward contracts. Certain of our subsidiaries periodically enter into foreign currency forward contracts in order to hedge portions of forecasted sales or cost of sales denominated in foreign currencies with forward contracts and options, which generally expire within one year. The fair value of our derivatives related to our foreign currency cash flow hedges was a net liability position of $13.7 million as of December 31, 2021 compared to $6.9 million as of January 1, 2021 due to the relative strengthening or weakening of exchange rates when compared to contracted rates. 

We are exposed to fluctuations in variable interest rates on our results of operations and financial condition, and we mitigate that exposure by entering into interest rate swaps from time to time. During 2018, we entered into interest rate swaps in order to hedge the risk of the fluctuation on future interest payments related to a portion of our variable rate LIBOR-based borrowings through 2028. The fair value of the derivatives related to our interest rate swap cash flow hedges was in a net liability position of $29.4 million as of December 31, 2021 compared to $50.6 million as of January 1, 2021. The decrease in our liability position is due to the relative increase in variable interest rates when compared to the rates as of January 1, 2021.

We enter into derivative instruments with counterparties that are highly rated and do not expect a deterioration of our counterparty’s credit ratings; however, the deterioration of our counterparty’s credit ratings would affect the Consolidated Financial Statements in the recognition of the fair value of the hedges that would be transferred to earnings as the contracts settle. We expect that $15.7 million of the net fair value of designated hedges recognized as a net loss in accumulated other comprehensive loss will be transferred to earnings during the next 12 months, and the remaining net loss of $26.1 million over a period of approximately 7 years, along with the earnings effect of the related forecasted transactions.

Other

We are involved in several legal and environmental matters that, if not resolved in our favor, could require significant cash outlays and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity. See Item 1. Business Overview under “Environmental Proceedings” and Item 3.  Legal Proceedings and Note 15, “Commitments and Contingencies” to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8.  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.






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Commitments and Contractual Obligations

The following details information with respect to our contractual obligations as of December 31, 2021.

 (U.S. dollars in millions)
Contractual obligations by periodTotalLess than
1 year
1 - 3 years3 - 5 yearsMore than
5 years
Fruit purchase agreements$1,152.9 $292.9 $538.0 $322.0 $— 
Purchase obligations354.8 253.1 47.1 35.2 19.4 
Operating leases and charter agreements246.9 48.0 81.8 63.9 53.2 
Finance lease obligations10.9 1.6 3.2 3.1 3.0 
Long-term debt519.1 — 519.1 — — 
Interest on long-term debt(1)
64.8 18.2 46.6 — — 
Retirement benefits102.6 11.7 21.4 20.3 49.2 
Uncertain tax positions7.2 — 5.7 0.1 1.4 
Totals$2,459.2 $625.5 $1,262.9 $444.6 $126.2 
 (1) We utilize a variable interest rate on our long-term debt, and for presentation purposes we have used an assumed average rate of 3.7%.

We have agreements to purchase the entire or partial production of certain products of our independent growers primarily in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Philippines, Ecuador, United Kingdom, and Colombia that meet our quality standards. Total purchases under these agreements amounted to $683.2 million for 2021, $744.9 million for 2020, and $691.8 million for 2019.

In 2017, we executed a contract with the Republic of Panama which committed us to invest a minimum of $100.0 million over a period of seven years upon the delivery of a minimum of approximately 9,000 net acres of land for leasing within specified timeframes. The investment commitment contemplated development of the leased land for banana production, refurbishment of packing plants, buildings and other banana facilities and preparation of banana infrastructure including land, roads and water systems. At the end of 2021, approximately 50% of the total committed lands had been received, and we have invested approximately $48.2 million in this project, inclusive of a $13.3 million lease prepayment. The Panamanian government has not delivered the remaining portion of the land to us within the specified timeframes. Based on current conditions, we do not anticipate that the Panamanian government will be able to meet their commitment in the future and therefore we do not anticipate any further capital expenditures related to the undelivered land.


Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
 
We believe the following accounting polices used in the preparation of our Consolidated Financial Statements may involve a high degree of judgment and complexity and could have a material effect on our Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
Revenue Recognition

Revenue is recognized upon transfer of control of promised products or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration we expect to be entitled to in exchange for those products or services. We record revenue based on a five-step model in accordance with the accounting guidance. For our customer contracts, we identify the performance obligations (products or services), determine the transaction price, allocate the contract transaction price to the performance obligations, and recognize the revenue when the performance obligation is fulfilled, which is when the product is shipped to or received by the customer, depending on the specific terms of the arrangement. Our revenues are recorded at a point in time.

Product sales are recorded net of variable consideration, such as provisions for returns, discounts and allowances. Such provisions are calculated using historical averages adjusted for any expected changes due to current business conditions. Consideration given to customers for cooperative advertising is recognized as a reduction of revenue except to the extent that there is a distinct good or service, in which case the expense is classified as selling, general, and administrative expense. Provisions for customer volume rebates are based on achieving a certain level of purchases and other performance criteria that
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are established on a program by program basis. These rebates are estimated based on the expected amount to be provided to the customers and are recognized as a reduction of revenue.

We expense incremental costs of obtaining a contract, if the contract period is for one year or less. These costs are included in selling, general and administrative expenses. Otherwise, incremental contract costs are recognized as an asset on our Consolidated Balance Sheets and amortized over time as promised goods and services are transferred to a customer. We account for shipping and handling costs as costs to fulfill a contract and not as performance obligations to our customers. We also exclude taxes collected from our customers, assessed by government authorities that are both imposed on and concurrent with a specific revenue-producing transaction, from our determination of the transaction price. We do not adjust the promised amount of consideration for the effects of a significant financing component if the period between the transfer of the promised good or service to a customer and the customer payment is one year or less.

Refer to Note 20, “Business Segment Data” for additional description of our reportable business segments and disaggregated revenue disclosures.
Growing Crops
 
Expenditures on pineapple, melon, tomatoes and non-tropical fruit, including grapes, growing crops are valued at the lower of cost or market and are deferred and charged to cost of products sold when the related crop is harvested and sold. The deferred growing costs consist primarily of land preparation, cultivation, irrigation and fertilization costs. The deferred growing crop calculation is dependent on an estimate of harvest yields and future crop expenditures. If there is an unexpected decrease in estimated harvest yields, a write-down of deferred growing costs may be required.
 
Goodwill and Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets
 
Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price of an acquired entity over the fair value of the net tangible and identifiable intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination. We assess goodwill at the reporting unit level on an annual basis as of the first day of our fourth quarter, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances suggest that goodwill may not be recoverable. A significant amount of judgment is involved in determining if an indicator of impairment has occurred.

For those reporting units where events or change in circumstances indicate that potential impairment indicators exist, we perform a quantitative assessment to determine whether the carrying amount of goodwill can be recovered. When performing the annual goodwill impairment test, we may start with an optional qualitative assessment as allowed for under the accounting guidance. As part of the qualitative assessment, we evaluate all events and circumstances, including both positive and negative events, in their totality, to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. If we bypass the qualitative assessment, or if the qualitative assessment indicates that a quantitative analysis should be performed, we evaluate goodwill for impairment by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit to its carrying value, including the associated goodwill. We generally estimate a reporting unit’s fair value using a discounted cash flow approach which is dependent on several significant estimates and assumptions related to forecasts of future revenues, cost of sales, expenses and the weighted-average cost of capital for each reporting unit. If the carrying amount of the reporting unit exceeds the estimated fair value, an impairment charge is recorded to reduce the carrying value to the estimated fair value. The impairment of goodwill is limited to the total amount of goodwill allocated to the reporting unit. Any adverse changes in the significant estimates and assumptions used in our goodwill impairment test could have a significant impact on the recoverability of goodwill and could have a material impact on our Consolidated Financial Statements.

As part of the 2004 Del Monte Foods acquisition, we also acquired perpetual, royalty-free licenses to use the Del Monte® brand for processed and/or canned food in more than 100 countries throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East and certain Central Asian countries. We can also produce, market and distribute certain prepared food products in North America based on our agreement with Del Monte Pacific utilizing the Del Monte® brand. This indefinite-lived intangible asset is not amortized but is reviewed for impairment as of the first day of the fourth quarter of each fiscal year, or sooner if impairment indicators arise. We generally estimate the fair value of our indefinite-lived intangible assets using a discounted cash flow approach.

The fair value of the banana reporting unit's goodwill, prepared reporting unit's goodwill and the Del Monte® prepared food reporting unit’s trade names and trademarks are sensitive to differences between estimated and actual cash flows and changes in the related discount rate used to evaluate the fair value of these assets. If the banana and the prepared food reporting unit do not perform to expected levels, the related goodwill and the Del Monte® trade names and trademarks associated with the prepared food reporting unit may be at risk for impairment in the future.

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The following table highlights the sensitivities of the indefinite-lived intangibles at risk as of December 31, 2021 (U.S. dollars in millions):

 Banana
Reporting Unit
Goodwill
Prepared Food
Reporting Unit
Goodwill
Prepared Food Reporting Unit 
Del Monte®
Trade Names and Trademarks
Carrying value of indefinite-lived intangible assets$64.3 $48.8 $30.8 
Approximate percentage by which the fair value exceeds the carrying value based on the annual impairment test4.8 %12.5 %11.8 %
Amount that a one percentage point increase in the discount rate and a 5% decrease in cash flows would cause the carrying value to exceed the fair value and trigger an impairment$64.3 $25.2 $0.6 

As of December 31, 2021, we are not aware of any items or events that would cause an adjustment to the carrying value of our goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets
 
We review long-lived assets (or asset groups) with identifiable cash flows for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. In the event that an asset is not recoverable, and the carrying amount of an asset exceeds the asset’s fair value, we measure and record an impairment loss for the excess. The fair value of an asset is measured by either determining the expected future discounted cash flows of the asset or by independent appraisal.

Certain definite-lived intangible assets related to our fresh and value-added products segment are sensitive to changes in estimated cash flows. To the extent that future developments result in estimated cash flows that are less than currently estimated levels, it could lead to impairment of these assets.

Income Taxes
 
Deferred income taxes are recognized for the tax consequences in future years of differences between the tax basis of assets and liabilities and their financial reporting amounts at each year end, based on enacted tax laws and statutory tax rates applicable to the year in which the differences are expected to affect taxable income. Valuation allowances are established when it is deemed more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized.
 
We account for income tax uncertainties consistent with the ASC guidance included in “Income Taxes,” which clarifies the accounting for uncertainty in income taxes recognized in a company’s financial statements and prescribes a recognition threshold and measurement attribute for the financial statement recognition and measurement of a tax position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. The ASC also provides guidance on derecognition, classification, interest and penalties, accounting in interim periods, disclosure and transition.  

Contingencies
 
Estimated losses from contingencies are recognized if it is probable that an asset has been impaired or a liability has been incurred at the date of the financial statements and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. Gain contingencies are not reflected in the financial statements until realized. We use judgment in assessing whether a loss contingency is probable and estimable. Actual results may differ from these estimates.




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Derivative Financial Instruments
 
We recognize the value of derivative instruments as either assets or liabilities in the statement of financial position at fair value.  The accounting for changes in the fair value (i.e., gains or losses) of a derivative instrument depends on whether it has been designated as a hedge and qualifies as part of a hedging relationship.  The accounting also depends on the type of hedging relationship, whether a cash flow hedge, a fair value hedge, or hedge of a net investment in a foreign operation.  

We use derivative financial instruments primarily to reduce our exposure to adverse fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, variable interest rates and bunker fuel prices. Upon entry into a derivative instrument, we formally designate and document the financial instrument as a hedge of a specific underlying exposure, as well as the risk management objectives and strategies for undertaking the hedge transaction. Derivatives are recorded in the Consolidated Balance Sheets at fair value in prepaid expenses and other current assets, other non-current assets, accounts payable and accrued expenses or other non-current liabilities, depending on whether the amount is an asset or liability and is of a short-term or long-term nature.

We designate our derivative financial instruments as cash flow hedges. A cash flow hedge requires that the change in the fair value of a derivative instrument be recognized in other comprehensive income, a component of shareholders’ equity, and reclassified into earnings in the same period or periods during which the hedged transaction affects earnings and is presented in the same income statement line item as the earnings effect of the hedged item. We also classify the cash flows from our cash flow hedges in the same category as the items being hedged on our Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows based on the fact that our cash flow hedges do not contain an other-than-insignificant financing element at inception.

In the event that hedge accounting is discontinued, any changes in fair value of the associated derivatives since the date of dedesignation are recognized in other income (expense), net. Cash flows subsequent to the date of dedesignation are classified within investing activities in our Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows.

Fair Value Measurements
 
Fair value is measured as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. In developing its fair value estimates, we use the following hierarchy:

Level 1 - Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.

Level 2 - Observable market-based inputs or unobservable inputs that are corroborated by market data.

Level 3 - Significant unobservable inputs that are not corroborated by market data. Generally, these fair value measures are model-based valuation techniques such as discounted cash flows using our own estimates and assumptions or those expected to be used by market participants.

We measure fair value for financial instruments, such as derivatives, on an ongoing basis.  We measure fair value for non-financial assets when a valuation is necessary, such as for impairment of long-lived and indefinite-lived assets when indicators of impairment exist. 

Our asset impairments for certain long-lived assets including property, plant, and equipment are generally estimated using a market approach. The fair value of these assets are classified as Level 3 in the fair value hierarchy due to the mix of unobservable inputs utilized.

Our impairments of goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets are generally estimated using an income or market approach, or a combination thereof. Due to the mix of unobservable inputs utilized, these measurements are usually classified as Level 3 in the fair value hierarchy.

New Accounting Pronouncements

For a description of new applicable accounting pronouncements, refer to Note 2, “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8.  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
We are not involved in any off-balance sheet arrangements.

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Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

We are exposed to market risk from changes in currency exchange rates and interest rates, which may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. We seek to minimize the risks from these currency exchange rate and interest rate fluctuations through our regular operating and financing activities and, when considered appropriate, through the use of derivative financial instruments. Our policy is to not use financial instruments for trading or other speculative purposes and not to be a party to any leveraged financial instruments.

We manage our currency exchange rate risk by hedging a portion of our overall exposure to currency fluctuation through foreign exchange forward contracts. We manage our exposure to interest rate fluctuations on a portion of our debt through interest rate swaps which convert the floating rate to a fixed rate, plus a borrowing spread. We also have procedures to monitor the impact of market risk on the fair value of long-term debt, short-term debt instruments and other financial instruments, considering reasonably possible changes in currency exchange rates and interest rates.

Exchange Rate Risk

Because we conduct our operations in many areas of the world involving transactions denominated in a variety of currencies, our results of operations as expressed in U.S. dollars may be significantly affected by fluctuations in rates of exchange between currencies. These fluctuations could be significant. Approximately 34% of our net sales and a significant portion of our costs and expenses in each of 2021 and 2020 were denominated in currencies other than the dollar. We generally are unable to adjust our non-dollar local currency sales prices to reflect changes in exchange rates between the dollar and the relevant local currency. As a result, changes in exchange rates between the Euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Korean won or other currencies in which we receive sale proceeds and the dollar have a direct impact on our operating results. There is normally a time lag between our sales and collection of the related sales proceeds, exposing us to additional currency exchange rate risk.

To reduce currency exchange rate risk, we generally exchange local currencies for dollars promptly upon receipt. We periodically enter into currency forward contracts as a hedge against a portion of our currency exchange rate exposures; however, we may decide not to enter into these contracts during any particular period. We had several foreign currency cash flow hedges outstanding, and the fair value of the hedges were a net liability of $13.7 million as of December 31, 2021 and $6.9 million as of January 1, 2021.

The results of a hypothetical 10% strengthening in the average value of the dollar during 2021 and 2020 relative to the other currencies in which a significant portion of our net sales are denominated would have resulted in a decrease in net sales of approximately $145.0 million and $142.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2021 and January 1, 2021. This calculation assumes that each exchange rate would change in the same direction relative to the dollar. Our sensitivity analysis of the effects of changes in currency exchange rates does not factor in a potential change in sales levels or any offsetting gains on currency forward contracts.

Interest Rate Risk

As described in Note 10, “Debt” to the Consolidated Financial Statements, our indebtedness is both variable and fixed rate. Changes in interest rates in our indebtedness could have a material effect on our financial statements.

At year end December 31, 2021 and January 1, 2021, total variable rate debt had carrying values of $519.1 million and $541.7 million. The fair value of the debt approximates the carrying value because the variable rates approximate market rates. A 10% increase in the interest rate for 2021 and 2020 would have resulted in a negative impact of approximately $0.7 million and $0.9 million on our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2021 and January 1, 2021.

To reduce interest rate risk, during 2018, we entered into interest rate swaps in order to hedge the risk of the fluctuation on future interest expense related to a portion of our variable rate, LIBOR-based borrowings under our Credit Facility through 2028; however, we may decide not to enter into these contracts during any particular period. At year end December 31, 2021, the fair value of the interest rate swap contracts were in a net liability of $29.4 million compared to $50.6 million as of January 1, 2021.

At December 31, 2021, the notional value of interest rate contracts outstanding was $400 million, $200 million maturing in 2024 and the remaining $200 million maturing in 2028.

The above discussion of our procedures to monitor market risk and the estimated changes in fair value resulting from our sensitivity analysis are forward-looking statements of market risk assuming certain adverse market conditions occur.
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Actual results in the future may differ materially from these estimated results due to actual developments in the global financial markets. The analysis methods we used to assess and mitigate risk discussed above should not be considered projections of future events or losses.

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This annual report contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements concern expectations, beliefs, projections, plans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. Specifically, this annual report contains forward-looking statements including, but not limited to the following:

our beliefs regarding our market positions in our different product categories and the contributing factors to such market positions;
our beliefs regarding our opportunity to be a preferred supplier to large retail, convenience store chain, and food service customers and our methods to expand or establish such status;
our beliefs regarding the growth of the fresh-cut produce category and fresh produce industry and differentiation within the industry;
our expectation to continue investing in new product development to increase revenue and maintain our premium price position and market leadership in our product categories;
our beliefs regarding increases in outsourcing by food retailers, the drivers of that trend, and the beneficiaries of such increases;
our beliefs regarding our competitive advantages and the reasons for those advantages;
our beliefs and expectations of our ability to generate cost savings, expand our cargo business, and improve the quality of our products;
our beliefs regarding the barriers to entry in the pineapple and non-tropical fruit markets;
our expectations regarding the competitive pressures in the markets that we operate in;
our expectations regarding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and results of operations;
our beliefs regarding our positioning to increase market share and our strategies to do so;
our beliefs regarding our principal competitive opportunities;
our beliefs regarding the materiality of our legal proceedings;
our beliefs regarding the benefits of diversity and inclusion within our workforce;
our beliefs related to the sufficiency of our capital resources;
our beliefs regarding the impacts of consolidation in our industry;
our beliefs regarding the adequacy of our insurance coverage;
our beliefs regarding the sufficiency of our information technology protections and practices;
our expectations and estimates regarding certain legal, tax and accounting matters, including our litigation strategy, plans and beliefs regarding the ultimate outcome of income tax adjustments assessed by foreign taxing authorities;
our belief that certain proposed adjustments by taxing authorities are without merit, our ability to contest the adjustments and our plans to contest such adjustments;
our belief that our cash on hand, capacity available under our Revolving Credit Facility, and cash flows from operations for the next twelve months will be sufficient to service our outstanding debt during the next twelve months;
our expectations regarding fluctuations in the financial performance of our business due to seasonality;
our plans and strategies to expand various categories of our business in our geographic markets;
our beliefs regarding opportunities for sales growth and development of our fresh and prepared food products in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asian countries and the drivers of continued net sales growth across our segments;
our expectations and strategies for net sales growth in our respective geographic markets, including new product offerings and expansion of existing product offerings, increased sales volumes of existing products, expansion in various markets and targeting of convenience stores and foodservice trades in selected markets;
our expectation that a significant portion of our revenues will continue to be derived from a relatively small number of customers and our beliefs regarding the factors that go into the purchase decisions of such customers;
our expectations regarding the inability of the Panamanian government to deliver the remaining portion of the land and our future capital expenditures related to the undelivered land;
our expectations regarding the expansion of our third-party ocean freight business to provide a meaningful contribution to our profitability and operating results;
our beliefs regarding compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
our expectations regarding our further equity investments in companies;
our beliefs regarding the increasing emphasis on food safety issues;
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our expectations regarding expenditures for research and development;
our expectations regarding inflationary pressures and the impacts to our operating results;