Bananas more expensive on Bermuda due to increased inspections

According to wholesaler Butterfield & Vallis, ”importers are charged $10/case inspection fee on hundreds of cases per month locally plus fees charged by the USDA,” leading to the price of bananas increasing, “related to the increasing cost of fruit inspection by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.”

A spokesperson said, “As many consumers may have noticed, the price of bananas has gone up several times over the last year. The banana commodity price has remained relatively constant however, the price increase is related to the increasing cost of fruit inspection by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources [DENR]. In November of 2018, a particular load of bananas was heavily impacted by Mealy Bug, a small insect that can, potentially cause damage to the Bermuda ecosystem, if undetected.”

“Since that period, the DENR has mandated rigorous inspections of every lot of bananas being imported to the market. This is in addition to a DENR mandated inspection by the USDA prior to the export of the bananas. These two inspections come with not only significant operational challenges for importers but also a significant direct cost as the importers are charged $10/case inspection fee on hundreds of cases per month locally plus fees charged by the USDA. It also means bananas arrive in stores later and have less shelf life as they have been handled extensively.”

“While there was optimism that these heightened inspections would be temporary, they have continued in place all year. That has meant that the cost of these inspections are having to be transferred to the consumer via higher pricing. Numerous efforts have been made by the importers to improve the situation, however they have unfortunately not resulted in fewer inspection related costs.”

Source: bernews.com


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