I am in the business of Cavendish Bananas trade and export of and other fruits, including rice and other commodities. Since I already mention in my past blog the opportunities in this business, there is still this I call the other side of the coin. Allow me now to flip the coin by letting me ask you a question. If importers only prefers Class A 456 hands and the other good part, what do you think happen to the left over bananas? Image is excerpt from google images
Fyi. Class A (whether 456 hands or 789 hands) or Class B or Cluster are the categories and specifications of offered bananas in the commodity trading world. Same with same specs but with defects of any sort (e.g. spots, blemish, etc.) Below are the actual photos of harvested bananas from farms in the Philippines. This type of banana is undoubtedly bigger than common bananas we see in the market. Nonetheless, you can see for yourself that not all are the same in sizes so every part are categorized and classified according to specification.. Farmers harvest most age of banana fruit between 9-11 days so it will prolong its freshness until it reaches the country of destination up to the stores and markets that sells them. Majority of our importer-buyers are from Middle East, mostly from Iran. Sad to say, only a few are shipped to Manila and known markets in the Philippines as only a few could afford them compared to latundan and lakatan variety.
Let me repeat my question…. “If importers only prefers Class A 456 hands and the other good part, what do you think happen to the left over bananas?” I will show you where the left are over are going…
Sadly, the not chosen ones are just thrown as garbage or farmers just gave them to the pigs or used as fertilizers. The first time I saw, I immediately thought of the poor families and street children in Manila and many provinces of the Philippines. I always say to myself, if I could just be given support by the government or by United Nations or any willing NGO, I will help ask of these bananas to be given to DSWD and other concerned NGO, for their distribution to many agencies facilitating feeding program. I believe the churches can also participate in both pick and distribution. Below is the requirement to this task:
- Government laws or intervention to legalize pick and formalize farmers-government cooperation
- Ready supply of boxes and other packing materials (to withstand transport)
- Military assistance from driver, crew from pick-up to transport from farm to loading port
- Free use of 20ft or 40ft container cube
- Government facilitated shipping or government ship to transport the containers with bananas and other fruits from Sasa Davao port to Manila or to other port of destination within the Philippines
- DSWD and LGU cooperation
- Cooperation of Churches and other NGO
- Others (depending on the scope of requirement)
These are just for the bananas and fruits from Mindanao. The government can also coordinate and cooperate with traders of vegetables in Baguio, rice and corn producers, etc.
Come to think of it.