MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines became the first Asian country to export banana to the United States, according to Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr.
The first batch of highlands banana from Bukidnon in Mindanao arrived in Port of Los Angeles on September 9, the Philippine embassy in Washington said in a statement Sunday, September 15.
“With this shipment, we are hopeful that Philippine bananas would be able to find and satisfy a niche in the competitive US banana market,” Ambassador Cuisia said. “We also hope that this is the beginning of increased access of Philippine bananas in North America.”
The maiden shipment of 7.047 metric tons of highland bananas was made 8 years after the Philippines first requested the US market access for its bananas, according to Agriculture Attaché Dr. Josyline C. Javelosa.
“Philippine bananas are among the best in the world and there is opportunity to bring in the unique and special banana varieties like lakatan and latondan, which Filipinos in the US have long been craving for and which Americans can learn to love,” said Javelosa.
The US has agreed to an estimated 3,000 metric tons of bananas coming from the Philippines this 2013. Dole Philippines exported the bananas to its parent firm Dole Food Company Inc., an American firm.
They will bear the Sweetio brand of Dole.
The fruits were shipped from the Mindanao International Container Terminal in Misamis Oriental on August 20. They have since been transferred to a ripening warehouse and will be available in local stores in the Los Angeles area next week, according to Javelosa.
This makes the US the latest in the list of countries the Philippines export bananas to. Current export destinations include:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Middle East
Javelosa said the addition of US in its list of export markets can help Mindanao in recovering from the damage wrought by recent typhoons on banana plantations in the region. – Rappler.com
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