“Import of Brazilian bananas unique in Europe”

In 2015, Group A. De Witte decided to import Brazilian melons. The company took over the melon division from Chiquita, and were also asked to import bananas. They currently import one container per month, and for now it will remain a niche product. Jurgen de Witte, owner of Group A. De Witte, talks about the latest developments.



Own brand
“The import did not automatically go smoothly, and was even halted for a while. This was due to the fact that we wanted the bananas under our own brand, and that took a while. That is why we waited until the bananas could be packaged under Cebon. Besides, the banana market was slow for a while. We are currently working on putting our own brand Cebon on the map, and we already have customers who ask for these bananas in particular. The reason that Group A. De Witte wants to package the bananas in their own boxes is to be distinctive.” 

Volume still small
Group A. De Witte does not yet import large volumes of Brazilian bananas. “We would like to import more, but Brazil does not yet offer that possibility, because of drought. We have good demand, both domestic and international, but until we get more volume, we are taking things slowly.”

Shorter transportation time
De Witte continues: “Brazilian bananas are unique in Europe, because they have never been imported before. These bananas are cultivated in a much more ecological manner than bananas in other countries. For example, Colombia still sprays with aeroplanes. But in Brazil, hardly any pesticides are used at all. Besides, transportation time is shorter than with bananas from Ecuador or Colombia, which also impacts the environment, naturally.” Brazilian bananas are of the Cavendish variety. “I think they are more flavourful than Cavendish from other countries. They have to be ripened in a special manner, the process has to be less hasty, because the Brazilian plants are younger.”

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