Castle & Cooke Enters Tuna Packing Business
Castle & Cooke enters the tuna packing business by purchasing 41% of the stock and a few years later 97% of the stock of Hawaiian Tuna Packers.
Castle & Cooke, Inc. is a Los Angeles-based company that was once part of the Big Five companies in territorial Hawaii. The company at one time did most of its business in agriculture. Today, however, most of the company's business is in real estate and residential, commercial, and retail development.
Castle & Cooke was founded as a partnership between Samuel Northrup Castle and Amos Starr Cooke as a department store that sold farm tools, sewing equipment, and medicine. Over the next few decades, the company invested heavily in Hawaii's surging sugar industry, running plantations in Kohala and Haiku. The company incorporated in 1894. In the 1910s, the company invested in Matson Navigation Company along with three other Big Five companies. In 1931, the company also bought a 21 percent share of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, which was later renamed the Dole Food Company. Castle & Cooke bought out Dole in 1961.
Between 1964 and 1968, Castle & Cooke acquired the Standard Fruit Company, adding bananas and other tropical fruits to its existing pineapple operations.
The company maintained Dole's large pineapple plantations throughout the state, including a particularly large one on the island of Lanai, where Castle & Cooke owned about 95 percent of the island.
In the decades that followed, Castle & Cooke began to face severe financial trouble as Hawaii's agriculture industry weakened. In 1985, the company merged with the Flexi-Van Corporation, a transportation leasing company. In 1991, the company was renamed Dole Food Company.
In 1995, the real estate operations of The Dole Food Company were spun off as the newly reformed company Castle & Cooke. The new Castle & Cooke was bought by Dole CEO, David H. Murdock, who remains the CEO of Castle & Cooke today.