Guhan Ramachandran, Komatha Fresh:

"We're using our source-to-supermarket concept to supply European markets with Ecuadorian bananas too"

In recent years, Komatha Fresh has been selling premium quality fruit and vegetables to European retail partners via its import office in Amsterdam. The emphasis has been on Indian products such as grapes, mangos, and pomegranate seeds. Now, the company, thanks to its close partnerships with growers, also offers bananas from Ecuador.

Komatha Fresh's assortment consists of the well-known Cavendish, mini Orito, and single bananas, and plantains. The company sells most of the latter to their ethnic target group. Prominent players dominate the banana market. Director Guhan Ramachandran, nevertheless, does not foresee any problems in entering the market. "We want to provide the chain from source to supermarket. The Komatha Group's activities mean we already have many inroads to European retailers," he says.

Guhan says they deliberately chose Ecuador as a supplier. "Ecuador has a tropical climate with only three months of annual rainfall. It rains for nine months of the year in other tropical countries. That means Ecuadorian growers have outstanding quality bananas. The country is also blessed with fertile soil, which results in leafier trees, higher yields, and improved shelf life."

"Our plantations boast a quite advanced pumping infrastructure that need less labor and help drain excess water. We also use semi-automatic irrigation systems on all our plantations, which water the plants in exact doses. We don't waste water either - we recirculate and filter this irrigation water," Ramachandran explains.

Its workers' social conditions are a priority for this fruit giant. "On our plantations, 20% of the staff are women, at all levels. We've created healthy, safe working conditions and provide things like medical insurance, healthy food, and profit-sharing." The bananas are Smeta, FairTrade and Rainforest Alliance-certified. Komatha Fresh also offers organic bananas.

"It's currently the low season for bananas, and prices have fallen in recent weeks. Fortunately, we don't have any major logistical availability issues," Guhan concludes.

For more information:
Guhan Ramachandran
Komatha Group
69 Leidse Street
1017 NX, Amsterdam, NL
Mob: +31 (0)6 27109721 

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