"The banana market is not bad,” says Robert Greeve, who is a director at Anaco & Greeve International B.V. This Dutch company specializes in overseas products. “As in every year, production is lower in the first quarter, so prices are higher.” Robert has also noticed there is currently little competition from summer fruits.
Robert Greeve, director at Anaco & Greeve International B.V.
He has determined that the market is similar to last year’s. Besides Fairtrade bananas, organic bananas are also a growing product category at Anaco & Greeve, which gets bananas from Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. Robert states that this results in organic banana production increasing annually.
The director says weather conditions are causing difficulties at the moment. The bad weather at sea has delayed ships. That is the case for bananas from both Colombia and Costa Rica. Robert reports this is means supplying this product takes a little longer and is somewhat more challenging but that these delays will not lead to empty store shelves. He has noticed that the weather makes it hard to foresee market conditions.
“Banana cultivation is, after all, dependent on the weather.” Cold fronts, rain, and dry spells play a role here, as do weather extremes, which Robert sees are occurring more frequently. “It makes everything more difficult, and more exciting.” For example, he says last year, due to the frigid weather, banana production in Mexico was so much lower that, for two months, no exports could take place.
The discussion around the use of plastic has not passed by the banana trade either. The topic is keeping Anaco & Greeve busy, and the company strives to use less plastic in its banana crates. However, tests with plastic on the outside of the pallets or less plastic in the boxes have, thus far, not delivered the desired results. Robert says that currently, plastic still has to be used to ensure bananas’ shelf life. “The plastic prevents dehydration and creates a micro-climate within the crate,” he says. Robert remains hopeful that new trials planned in this area will lead to a reduction in the use of plastic.
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