Posts Tagged “organic bananas”
Timely arrivals for banana imports from Central and South America has been an ongoing issue this year due to factors ranging from disruptions by labor to weather factors.
Particularly over the last several weeks there have been late arrivals as a result of steamship line delays and issues. Major delays by shipping companies continue along the most commonly used routes from South America to the U.S. This has resulted in inconsistencies with steamship line arrival times to the U.S. and disruptions in banana supply across the board.
Labor strikes in Costa Rica have furthered the inconsistencies on steamship arrivals as any routes that include Costa Rica have experienced major slowdowns at Cost Rica ports. Contributing to the problems was a hurricane that hit the southeastern coast of Costa Rica in September.
Organics Unlimited of San Diego, CA has reported price pressure on organic bananas. The company contends there is a lack of understanding on what is figured into the higher prices needed for organic product versus conventional.
Chiquita Brands has referenced the rising costs of items ranging from paper, bunker fuel and inland transportation. There also are stricter regulations, fuel prices going up and lack of adequate labor, all which are having a negative impact on costs.
Bananas imported by North American companies are sourced mainly from Central America, where challenges the industry faced this year were mostly weather related.
The year started with colder weather than usual, and in Costa Rica and Panama above average rainfall, creating port service problems. The unstable political situation in the region continues to pose a challenge for a consistent and problem-free supply.
Del Monte Fresh Produce of Coral Gables, FL reports in recent months growing conditions have been good and banana availability should remain steady through the rest of the year, despite some transportation issues last September.
Oke USA of West Bridgewater, MA is the importing arm of Equal Exchange. The company reports weather has been ideal in Peru and Ecuador this year. However, 2017 was a difficult year for quality due to El Niño and excessive rains that led to wide-scale flooding, especially in Peru. In 2018, there has been less rain in general, rains coming at the right time and more optimal growing conditions in general. This has resulted Equal Exchange experiencing a decrease of over 50 percent in quality issues.
by Organic Trade Association
Americans are gobbling up more organic fruits and vegetables than ever before, from organic blueberries and organic apples to organic packaged greens and cut-up organic vegetables ready for their children’s lunch box or their family’s dinner plate.
Over half of all households in the United States now purchase organic produce. The sale of organic bananas alone – now a $165 million market – soared by more than 30 percent last year. Organic “value-added” vegetables (think chopped kale, peeled carrots and ready-to-cook squash) grew by a whopping 54 percent in 2015 to almost $150 million.
What’s big in the organic produce sector? A few standouts in the produce section:
- Organic bananas: Sales up a solid 33 percent from a year ago.
- Organic blackberries: Sales up a sharp 61 percent from a year ago.
- Organic salad greens and organic baby carrots: Sales of each up 11 percent versus a year ago.
- Organic Pink Lady Apples: Sales almost double (up 96 percent) that of a year ago.
“The organic produce market is growing and strong, and it is driving trends in produce innovation across the board,” said Laura Batcha, Executive Director and CEO of the Organic Trade Association (OTA) recently at the first-ever Organic Produce Summit, held in Monterey, California.
Digging deep into the produce aisle, Batcha gave a State of the Organic Produce presentation on Thursday, unveiling the findings of a report on the produce-buying habits of Americans compiled for the Organic Trade Association by Nielsen, the global information and measurement company.
According to the OTA 2016 Organic Industry Survey released in May, fresh organic produce sales in the U.S. reached $13 billion in 2015. (Total sales of organic fruits and vegetables, including fresh, frozen and canned, amounted to $14.4 billion.) The $13-billion market includes $5.7 billion worth of organic produce sold in the mass market (supermarkets, big-box stores, warehouse clubs), $4.7 billion sold by specialty and natural retailers, and $2.7 billion in direct sales (farmers’ markets, CSAs, online).
Nielsen measures organic sales primarily from the mass market, and puts organic produce sales at $5.5 billion. The Nielsen figures do not include specialty and natural retailers, nor direct sales. Further, Nielsen’s data reflect grocery coding systems, which are based on retailer description and in which organic can be under-represented.
The Nielsen figures, however, delve down to the specific types of organic vegetable or organic fruit sold, providing detailed information on the buying habits of consumers in the major category of supermarkets and big-box stores.
Since 2011, the sales of produce in this country have increased over 25 percent. Convenience, a greater awareness of the health benefits of produce, and an increased interest in local food sources largely contributed to the increase. And driven by the desire to improve upon already healthy food choices, organic fruit sales have soared 123 percent during that time, while organic vegetable sales have jumped by 92 percent.
The U.S. organic industry saw its largest dollar gain ever in 2015, adding $4.2 billion in sales. Total organic food sales in the U.S. were $39.7 billion, up 11 percent from the previous year. Organic produce sales accounted for 36 percent of the organic market. Almost 13 percent of all the produce sold in the United States now is organic.
The Nielsen findings showed that today’s organic produce shopper tends to be more kid-focused than the average produce shopper, and that the huge majority of these enthusiastic organic produce buyers – 77 percent – are going to their favorite grocery store or supermarket chain to buy their organic fruits and vegetables.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 8,500 organic businesses across 50 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA’s mission is to promote and protect ORGANIC with a unifying voice that serves and engages its diverse members from farm to marketplace.
Organics Unlimited is pleased to announce the 10th anniversary of its nonprofit program, GROW. Throughout the month of September, Organics Unlimited will execute a special GROW Month campaign in order to raise awareness of the social responsibility program and inspire more distributors, retailers and consumers to become involved.
Since 2005, GROW has raised nearly $2 million to advance the rural Mexican and Ecuadorian communities surrounding its organic banana farms. With each box of GROW organic bananas sold to retailers and distributors, a portion of the proceeds go to the GROW fund. These donations are managed and distributed by the International Community Foundation and are used for youth educational scholarships in Mexico, clean water programs in Ecuador, dental and vision care in Mexico, micro-loans for small businesses and more.
Mayra Velazquez de Leon
“In celebration of the 10th anniversary of GROW organic bananas, we have released a new GROW banana label that features the special hashtag #GROWTURNS10,” said Organics Unlimited President and CEO Mayra Velazquez de Leon. “We hope this limited-time GROW label will inspire consumers to become more involved with the social responsibility campaign and share how their GROW purchases are making a difference in the lives of others.”
Consumers can join in GROW Month throughout September and help raise awareness of the humanitarian work of GROW by purchasing GROW organic bananas and sharing the hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tips for how to share the #GROWTURNS10 message – such as organic banana recipes, inspirational stories of GROW scholars, crafts for children and more – are available at GROWbananas.org.