Fair News

Reshuffling of organic banana exports


By: Felipe Guerrero, Executive Vice President

 Towards late 2021 we all believed that the most complex part of the pandemic was over; most countries were on the road to achieving immunization against the virus, most major economies (although some were lagging behind) were returning to pre-pandemic levels and, in general, people were optimistic in the face of a global health crisis that no one expected. It is true that we are still in uncharted territory; we continue to see variants of the virus, temporary border closures and supply chain crises. This affects from every angle what countries protect so dearly: their productivity. La Samaria is one of the few, if not the only, Colombian producer and exporter of organic, sustainable and fair-trade bananas that reaches buyers in the US, the European Union, Japan and Korea simultaneously. These international supply chains have been thriving for more than ten years without interruption, but the logistical situation caused by the pandemic has made it unsustainable.

 The pre-pandemic average transit time of 30 days for a container that set sail from Santa Marta (Colombia) to arrive in Yokohama (Japan) or Busan (Korea) has increased to 60 days. Cargo ships need to wait weeks for ports to unload and load in Los Angeles in the US or Manzanillo in Mexico. As a consequence of these delays the DAABON Group took the difficult decisio to pause our Asian exports. Even though this is painful for everyone, it is with the great responsibility for our workers, our customers and our brand that we opted to put them on hold. We hold the firm hope of being able to resume trade relations with Asia once the port crises is over.

 As a consequence of the export pause we have shifted to a strategy of protecting our business, whereby new commercial allies are being sought who will identify with our product. The strategy has been designed with greater volumes of product going to destinations in the European Union and the US. During this period, La Samaria’s commercial exposure will be reduced, so we will be executing a renovation of 60 hectares of the Cancún farm. We are sure that we will emerge stronger than ever from this crisis with new clients, new destinations and a renewed production that we will be taking to various destinations around the world, including Asia, soon.