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CORAL GABLES, FL -- Turbana Corp. is celebrating 40 years of existence since opening its doors in 1970.

Since its inception, Turbana has been one of the premier importers of premium bananas, exotic bananas and plantains in North America.

"It is amazing how far the company has gone and how much it has grown since it started, not just as an importer of quality fruit, but as a leader of socially responsible farming and an advocate of fair trade," Juan Alarcon, chief executive officer at Turbana, said in a Sept. 24 press release.

Turbana was the first importer to ship 100% percent unitized cargo in 1986, the first banana company to launch a private label program with Stop & Shop in 1994, and the first to merchandise plantains into an important category, according to the release.

In 2004 it started marketing "Fyffes" brand Gold pineapples and completed an alliance with Fyffes in 2005, whereby Fyffes acquired 50 percent of Turbana.

Most recently the company rolled out its new corporate and brand identities and in 2010 launched a division of consumer packaged goods with its “Turbana” brand of plantain chips.