Bananas Business Updates

10/12/2012 03:42:00 PM
Cynthia David

Banacol backs sustainability push

Coral Gables, Fla.-based Banacol Marketing Corp., one of Colombia’s largest banana producers, is supporting a Colombian and Dutch government declaration that aims to make the banana sector more sustainable by 2015.

According to the document, released in June, Colombia is the world’s fourth largest banana exporter, with more than 10% of the global banana market and foreign sales generating around $700 million. About 95 million boxes of bananas exported annually.

The declaration advocates environmentally responsible practices that protect the country’s soil, water and biodiversity, along with fair compensation for workers.

It also aims to align certification standards in order to lower costs and increase efficiency, said Bill Sheridan, executive vice president of sales.

In return, the government promises to improve infrastructure and technology to increase competitiveness in the banana sector and promote the sale of sustainable bananas through commitments with importers and supermarket chains and consumer campaigns.

By 2015, Colombia expects to produce 36 million boxes of sustainable bananas.

Dole’s FreshPack gets warm initial reception

Dole is encouraged by consumer and retailer response to its new FreshPack bag, said Bil Goldfield, communications manager for Westlake Village, Calif.-based Dole Fresh Fruit.

The microperforated 3-pound bag, divided into two pouches, was introduced in 10 Texas communities over the summer.

It’s designed to extend the life of bananas up to six days, Goldfield said.

Bananas from one pouch can be opened and enjoyed while the other side “sleeps” in an atmosphere of increased carbon dioxide.

Based on the bag’s success, Goldfield expects retailers and markets will soon be adding the new pack to their produce lineup.

New Del Monte bag extends shelf life

Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce NA has designed a 3-pound bag using its proprietary Controlled Ripening Technology to extend the shelf life of bananas up to three days.

Dennis Christou, vice president marketing, said the new bag will help retail customers increase banana sales and improve the fruit’s appearance and quality because of moisture retention and less handling.

Del Monte’s banana bag means labor savings for retailers, fewer deliveries and reduced shrink, Christou said.

Organics Unlimited adds acreage

San Diego-based Organics Unlimited has added 143 acres to its banana plantations in Colima, Mexico, for a total of 390 acres, said president Mayra Velazquez de Leon.


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