Mexico: Chiapas could export bananas to Europe

Banana production in Chiapas is in the process of entering the European market, exports could even start before the end of 2015, as the Dole company is currently offering producers from Chiapas a contract for 20 years, said the president of the Association of Banana Producers of Soconusco (APPS), Eduardo Altuzar Lopez.

"This is important because it allows meeting the demand and the producers also have the option of placing some of his product in each transnational trading company so they have alternatives," he said.

He stated that, since the partners of the APPS had met the demand of the Chiquita company for 6 years, which will soon be seven, complying with the highest quality standards, the Dole company wanted to sign a 20 year contract to buy bananas from them to send to Europe.

He also said that they had to meet the quality standards required for the international market. The National Health, Food Safety and Quality Service certify them within the country, and, to export, they are certified by Global Gate, an international trade services integration company, and Rainforest, an international non-governmental organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods.

"There's a joint effort to succeed: the dedication of the banana entrepreneurs, producers, skilled labor, the fields, the supports from the Government, the conditions for marketing and determining if the product is for the national or international market," he said.

Altuzar Lopez added that the demand by multinational companies, such as Chiquita or Dole, had forced producers to maintain their products' export quality and that this had become a culture. The days when there was a surplus are a thing of the past because now there's a big demand for the product but also a commitment to produce all year to meet said demand.

"Exporting the product allows us to achieve better prices than in the domestic market. Many producers have taken this alternative and there's an urgency to export. However, we still have to send the product through Guatemala, because of the volumes that the boats can handled, but we expect to be exporting through the Port of Chiapas soon," he added.


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