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Fresh Del Monte Denies Alleged SEC Preliminary Inquiry

CORAL GABLES, Fla., Mar 14, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (NYSE:FDP) today reaffirms that it has not been notified by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in regard to any preliminary inquiry - either during November and December 2002 or at any other time.

FDP received information through a report issued this afternoon over First Call by BB&T Capital Markets indicating that BB&T has SEC correspondence referring to a preliminary inquiry into the Company by the SEC from November 21, 2002 to December 12, 2002. The Company reaffirms that it has not been notified verbally or in writing by the SEC of any preliminary inquiry, nor has the Company received any requests from the SEC for information. Any suggestion in the BB&T report that the Company is subject to a continuing SEC investigation is completely unfounded.

Fresh Del Monte is a leading vertically integrated producer and marketer of high quality fresh and fresh-cut produce. The Company's primary products include bananas, pineapples, melons, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, grapes, citrus, apples, pears, peaches, plums and plantains. The Company markets its products worldwide under the DEL MONTE(R) brand, a symbol of product quality and reliability since 1892.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements regarding the intents, beliefs or current expectations of the Company or its officers with respect to various matters. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to the Company and the Company assumes no obligation to update these statements. It is important to note that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those described under the caption "Key Information - Risk Factors" in Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.'s Form 20-F for the year ended December 27, 2002.

Note to the Editor: This release and other press releases are available on the Company's web site,

CONTACT:          Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., Coral Gables
                  John F. Inserra, 305/520-8065
                  Christine Cannella, 305/520-8451

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