Processing of organic bananas in Peru

Macfrut President Renzo Piraccini visited Peru and noticed that a cableway takes banana bunches from the field to the processing centers so there is no need for trucks or tractors. The entire chain holds the organic certification and only chlorine water is used for washing.

“I was in north-west Peru, towards the Andes. Banana tiers are protected, then the fruits are washed with chlorine water and no fungicides are employed, as the company holds the organic certification.”

Washed bananas are stickered and packaged in 18 kg crates, which are then sent to European retailers and markets. They are shipped green and ripen during transport.

The producer is located in Morropon, 100m west of Piura at around 200m asl. There are around 2000 hectares of banana plants in the area, most of which cultivated using organic methods. The producer is part of the Asprobo cooperative, gathering 59 partners and 120 hectares.

“The average production is 1500-2000 18.5kg crates per hectare. Currently, producers are paid $5.5 for a crate of organic bananas. Cardboard and the packaging material are supplied by the buyer.”

The cooperative does not commercialize directly but sells to a large exporter at $8. With the $2.5 margin, it pays transport to the exporter collection center, a few technical means supplied to producers, technical assistance and general costs.

Irrigation water comes from the river and sometimes from wells. The producer has a facility and carries out packaging directly. The cooperative also commercializes cocoa.

Cocoa can be white or dark and the producer grows around 10-30 quintals per hectare. Producers make approx. $1.5/kg, but the price can very depending on quality.

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