US demand for organic bananas has been strong. “Although we haven’t seen the spike in demand that we usually see when kids go back to school, we are witnessing an increase in the number of customers,” says Audee Rios, International Sales Director with Coliman. In addition, the company is seeing a clear switch from conventional bananas to organic ones. Due to COVID, consumers have become more health conscious. “This is great for our business, and we are happy to be a part of this healthier lifestyle,” Rios shared. Coliman’s organic share in total banana production is 89 percent with all organic bananas being grown in Tecoman, in Mexico’s Colima area.
From volatility to more steady orders
Due to COVID, there was a lot of uncertainty on how the market would behave and respond. “However, for us demand has been much better than expected,” commented Rios. Initially, there were a lot of highs and lows on the demand side, resulting in volatility in the volume of orders. “The unpredictability at the beginning of COVID made it challenging to adjust, but slowly we went back to regular, more steady orders,” she added.
More recently, demand has seen some interruption due to bad weather in some US markets. This mainly affects logistics in terminal markets. “Besides that, the critical situation we now live in hasn’t resulted in any major negative effects for us,” said Victor Heredia, Coliman’s US Sales Manager. “We are one of the fortunate industries that has survived and maintained operations through these challenging times, and we are grateful for that.”
On the supply side, peak production was a few weeks ago, and supplies are steady currently. “Although we don’t expect any substantial changes over the next six months, it is difficult to predict supplies due to the start of La ‘La Niña’.” As of yet, there is not a big impact on Coliman’s growing region, but the country has taken measures and precautions in order to minimize risks. “As with any large farming operation, we stay alert and keep a watchful eye on how weather and production in other regions may affect the market in general,” Heredia concluded.