Chiquita Brands, the transnational company transferred its logistics activity from Honduras to Guatemala because of the high port charges and fees, the high cost of electric energy, and the speed of ground transportation of cargo at the Honduran port from which they operated. This transfer will affect the commercialization of the production of a large number of Honduran cooperatives in the region.
"There is concern about this situation because some 160 cooperatives that are dedicated to banana production in Guanchias and San Manuel, Cortes, will no longer have how to market their product," said Hector Castro, the president of the Association of Independent Banana Growers.
"In addition, the country will lose about two million dollars in foreign currency, as the bananas cannot be exported via Puerto Cortes, which will impact the country's macroeconomy," he added.
Chiquita Brands closed its customs operations in Honduras on June 30 and decided to transfer all its port operations from Puerto Cortes to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, where it has the Cobigua dock concession. That dock, which is now managed by the transnational, was awarded to them by the Guatemalan government as a way to encourage the logistical development of companies like Chiquita and to attract foreign investment, its executives reported.
"The worst part is that this has also affected exports of other products during the pandemic," Hector Castro added.
"We hope that the Honduran financial system and the government find a solution so that the productive activity does not collapse, as this is a very serious situation at the economic, social, and family levels," he said.