The conflict in Eastern Europe is not only making it more difficult for food manufacturers to source raw materials. It is also posing challenges to Philippine banana exporters. As Russia has shuttered its borders following its invasion of Ukraine, sellers of bananas particularly from Latin America have been forced to look for other buyers in the world and this has prompted banana exporters from Latin America to target other markets, including countries where the Philippines used to dominate.
While the Philippines remains as the world’s second-largest exporter of bananas, other emerging contenders are nipping at her heels and are threatening to dislodge the country from her current status. Maintaining this status is the struggle to retain its market share amid the challenges facing the sector. The impact of a lower market share would be felt most by local growers who are struggling to earn enough amid the rise in production costs and the acceleration in the prices of basic commodities.