JIS News

Jamaican bananas re entered the export market on Saturday (May 7) when 12,000 boxes of the fruit left the Boundbrook Wharf in Port Antonio for Europe aboard the Cape Cod.
When JIS NEWS visited the wharf on Saturday morning, forklift operators were busy unloading cargo from the ship, while stevedores employed to the Jamaica Freight and Shipping Company waited to store the boxes on the vessel.
Kedrick Randal, Operations Manager at the Banana Export Company (BECo), who was on hand to observe the operations, said that his company was pleased to resume the export of bananas after the devastation to the industry by Hurricane Ivan last September.
He said that not only did the export of bananas bring the country considerable earnings in terms of foreign exchange, but the sector was also a major income earner for many families.
He informed that the amount of boxes shipped would increase over the next few months as production gathered momentum, noting that the aim was to peak at 50,000 boxes per week.
Mr. Randal said that BECo would ensure that the bananas being exported were of the best quality and he commended the small banana farmers for the effort they had made to bring about the revival of the banana industry in so short a period following the hurricane.
He observed that small farmers were responsible for roughly 12 per cent of Saturday’s shipment, and said that they stood to benefit from the favourable prices now available for the fruit.
Mr. Randal expressed confidence in the future of the industry, noting that despite the challenges faced, production standards put in place by BECo would ensure that the industry maintained its competitive edge on the world market.

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