Cannery Life, Del Monte in the Santa Clara Valley

The Corporation

Double Luck Brand Yellow Cling Peaches, 1926.The Del Monte Corporation traces its history back to the earliest days of the fruit processing industry.  The Corporation grew out of a long series of mergers and consolidation starting in 1889 and continuing into the 1980’s.  The San José Fruit Packing Company, founded in 1875, was one of Del Monte’s ancestors.  San José Fruit Packing joined forces with 17 other small companies in 1889 to form the California Fruit Canners Association“We Grow Quality”, January 2006.This association joined others in 1916 as part of the California Packing Corporation [Calpak] , headquartered in San Francisco.  By the 1920’s, Calpak had a national presence and a famous brand - Del Monte.  After World War II, the brand became recognized around the world and the corporation took Del Monte as its name in 1967.  In 1979, the company became part of R.J. Reynolds Industries, but retained its name and brand identity.  Del Monte’s presence in the Santa Clara Valley ended in 1999, when Plant #3 closed.  But the brand and the name, built on the high quality of Santa Clara Valley agricultural products, continue to thrive.