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Fresh Del Monte Produce Issues Statement Regarding Eastbrook Caribe New York Lawsuit

04.16.03

CORAL GABLES, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 16, 2003--Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (NYSE:FDP), received a complaint today related to an action filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in New York City against the Company by Eastbrook Caribe A.V.V. in November 2002. Fresh Del Monte believes that the allegations in the Eastbrook complaint are entirely without merit.

Eastbrook rehashes allegations made in the summons with notice filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in November 2002, and also raised in a pending action against Fresh Del Monte in December 2002 in the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court.

As previously announced, on March 19, 2003, Fresh Del Monte Produce commenced litigation against Eastbrook seeking indemnity and damages based on the November 1996 settlement agreement which was entered into in connection with the 1996 acquisition of Fresh Del Monte Produce N.V. by the IAT Group Inc. Eastbrook, a defendant in that litigation answered the complaint and is seeking to set aside the November 1996 settlement agreement. The Company will prosecute its action against the Eastbrook entities.

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, http://www.freshdelmonte.com.

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

    SOURCE: Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. 
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