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Organic banana movement stays steady

Supplies of organic bananas are as expected currently and similar to last year’s volumes at this time.

Left to right: Mayra Velazquez de León; Daniella Velazquez de León.

San Diego, CA-based Organics Unlimited supplies organic Cavendish bananas via its network of small growers in Colima, Mexico as well as Ecuador so it has reliable volumes for this time of year. Along with Mexico and Ecuador, general organic banana production is also coming from Peru, Columbia and other Latin American countries.

Meanwhile, the pandemic fueling consumer’s interest in eating healthier has helped banana consumption and Mayra Velazquez de León, president and CEO of Organics Unlimited, notes a Vantage Market Research report which states that the total global organic fruit and vegetable market is projected to go from $39.45 billion in 2021 to $68.50 billion by 2028. “Changes in lifestyle and food habits of consumers will enhance growth this year and into the future,” she says, noting Organics Unlimited is in a good position to provide continuous supply of its three organic banana labels: Organics Unlimited, GROW and Fair Trade Certified.

Cost pressure issue
Yet, challenging the banana industry continues to be significant cost pressures that are especially absorbed by smaller growers and shippers. “There’s been no movement from large-scale banana distributors at the growing level. It has been up to the smaller banana wholesalers to pave the way and speak up for the farmers that we work so closely with,” she says. “The distributors we work with have been outstanding in helping us communicate current cost pressures to retailers. What has been even more inspiring is the number of emails I’ve received directly from retailers on how we can work together to increase the price at retail over the ‘forbidden threshold’ and fight the good fight together. These messages provide much-needed encouragement and acknowledgment that what we are doing matters and is worth fighting for.”

Thankfully for Organics Unlimited, most of its farms are in Mexico so it hasn’t been impacted by global shipping issues as much as other shippers who rely solely on shipping container transportation. That said, input costs on production continue to rise. “It is a phenomenon that has been seriously impacting all players across the supply chain since mid-2021 and, naturally, has a bigger impact on the low-margin banana business,” says Velazquez de León. “We do not know where current international unrest and inflation will take our world, but Organics Unlimited is taking what we learned from 2021 to identify opportunities and drive efficiencies to best serve our clients as we forge on in the coming years.”

Those increased inputs include dramatically higher costs on fertilizers and packaging materials which in turn have influenced organic banana pricing as well.

For more information:
Mayra Velazquez de León
Organics Unlimited
Tel: (+1) 619-710-0658 

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