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Ecuador’s banana imports slip in 2021

Ecuador’s banana imports slip in 2021
Photo: AEBE

Ecuador’s banana exports in the first two months of 2021 slipped 2.9% compared to the same period in 2020, according to Acorbanec data. Of the 69.3 million boxes exported, 29.3% went to the EU, 20.6% to Russia, 12.8% to the US, 10.3% to the Middle East, 7.3% to Eastern Europe, 6.7% to Africa, 5.7% to the Southern Cone, and 4.9% to East Asia. The main falls were registered in shipments to the Middle East (-37.2%) and East Asia (-17.6%), as well as to Russia (-8.8%) and the EU (-5.3%). 

There was however significant growth in exports to Africa (+116.5%), the US (+25.7%) and the Southern Cone (+12.3%).

The largest exporter is UBESA (DOLE), which accounts for 10.3% of the shipped volume, followed by REYBANPAC (6.9%), FRUTADELI S.A. (4.1%) and COMERSUR Cía (3.8%).

 

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Offical communication on the fall of volcanic ash in Banana properties

Offical communication on the fall of volcanic ash in Banana properties
PRESS RELEASE
Photo: Archive AEBE

As is public knowledge, the Sangay volcano located in the Real de Morona Santiago mountain range, on March 6, 2021, restarted its eruption emanating columns of ash heading west. It should be remembered that in June 2020 this eruptive process began that affected some crops in the provinces of Chimborazo, Bolívar, Los Ríos, Guayas and Azuay.

It is important to recommend that we remain calm and always inform ourselves from official sources. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock- MAG through the Undersecretary of Strengthening of Musaceas will communicate and recommend on the affectation especially to the banana cultivation.

We are in the winter season and the fall of ash to the banana crop does not cause a major impact because the rain washes the ash from the leaves and with that it is avoided that the fruit or bunches are not contaminated.

Contrary to the summer where there is more affectation because most farms have a subfoliar irrigation that does not allow washing the leaves of the plants as occurs with rain in winter

In addition to the advantage of winter, MAG last year began training producers, especially small ones, on how to carry out certain agricultural practices such as: Holster, Harvest, and Process in packing plant, in order to ensure commercial quality and avoid losses. Economic due to ash fall, likewise protect the worker most of all with the use of masks and specific clothing to avoid contact with the ash.

We are together with the producer, given the need to care for this sector, in order to protect the economy of this area and the quality of the fruit, offering options for debt restructuring and delivery of sanitary and fertilization kits to small and medium producers, which will allow us to be competitive while maintaining prices and market niches.

 

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Ecuador sets new banana export record

Calls for supply regulation to protect banana prices 

Ecuador expects to set a new record for banana exports in 2020, despite the logistics obstacles caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the first ten months of the year, the world’s number-one banana producer has shipped over 7% more volumes than in the same period of 2019, reaching over 315 million boxes. Data published by the Banana Marketing and Export Association (ACORBANEC) shows that the EU remains the main market for Ecuadorian bananas (26.9%), followed by Russia, the Middle East, the US, East Asia, the Southern Cone. What’s more, growth of over 20% has been recorded for shipments sent to Eastern Europe and Africa.

From January to September 2020, Ecuador’s banana exports were worth US$2.4 billion, according to Central Bank of Ecuador data.

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Study finds Ecuador’s banana sector to be sustainable

Study finds Ecuador’s banana sector to be sustainable
© Eurofresh Distribution

 

Proof has arrived to support the Ecuadorean banana sector’s claim to be economically and socially sustainable. An 18-month study conducted by the University of California Davis, funded by producers and exporters, focused on the social, political, financial and environmental aspects of production. 

The results show that 70% of farms were free from child labour, provided healthcare for employees and a competitive salary. Leónidas Estrada, president of Agroban, “One of the criteria for supplying the European market today is that workers are paid a living wage.”

The study also found that Ecuador’s banana sector uses lower amounts of chemicals than other producing countries thanks to its climate and geographical location. However, as producer and former Agroban president Gustavo Marún said, the study revealed several areas where the industry could improve, such as providing more jobs for women who are underrepresented in the sector.

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REYBANPAC recognised for good agricultural practices

REYBANPAC recognised for good agricultural practices © REYBANPAC
© REYBANPAC

 

During Fruit Logistica 2020, Reybanpac received recognition from Bayer Ecuador for the implementation of good agricultural practices in the banana sector. In recent years, Reybanpac has been incorporating biofungicides into its production processes as part of its environmental care commitment. Biofungicides are an alternative form of phytosanitary control that can reduce chemical use in preventing diseases such as sigatoka.

Reybanpac is a pioneer in the banana industry in applying this type of product for the sustainable management of pests and diseases. “We are honoured by this recognition, which motivates us to continue constantly and proactively developing. We believe in the application of new techniques that contribute to our objectives of productivity and socio-environmental responsibility. As a company, we adapt to changes and are prepared to move forward with the new market trends,” said CEO Vicente Wong.

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Banana Time will be held online on October 5-8

Banana Time will be held online on October 5-8

 

The XVII edition of the international Banana Time conference will address the challenges of the banana sector from October 5 to 8. Organised by the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (AEBE), the event will cover a strategic agenda that aims to strengthen productive capacities to improve the competitiveness of this industry.

Participants will have unlimited access to conferences, exchanges of experiences, commercial exhibitions and business roundtables on topics such as: financing for sustainable development, blockchain strategies, actions in the face of the health emergency, plans and prospects for commercial investment, among others.

“We reinvent ourselves as an association and we have built an event of international stature that responds to the current needs of producers, exporters, suppliers; This meeting will allow us to exchange views with global markets. Ecuador is the largest banana exporter in the world due to its high quality, therefore we want to strengthen a sustainable production chain that allows us to open up more opportunities for everyone to benefit the national economy,” said Marianella Ubilla, president of the AEBE.

The AEBE works constantly to generate better competitive conditions that favour all actors in the value chain, promoting greater technology in order to achieve certifications that support the high standards of Ecuadorian bananas.

“Our objective is to gain a greater international market, for this, structural improvements in the productive conditions of the farms must be implemented, promote greater agility in procedures, generate sources of financing … Every day we face great challenges, therefore as an industry we must respond with resilience Unit. The convention will make it possible to capitalize on national and international experiences that promote the construction of a long-term sustainable vision,” said José Antonio Hidalgo, director of the association.

Banana Time is the name of the XVII International Banana Convention that will bring together the main national and international players in the industry. To participate in the event, a secure and reliable platform has been implemented: www.bananatime.ec

TAGS: Banana Time, conference, online, Ecuador, banana

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International Banana Convention 2020 goes online for first time

International Banana Convention 2020 goes online for first time

New and existing challenges faced by the global banana industry will be the overarching theme addressed by the XVII International Banana Convention 2020, which is being organised by the Association of Ecuadorian Banana Exporters (AEBE) in a virtual format for the first time this year on 5-8 October.

Next month’s event, titled ‘Banana Time’, features a comprehensive digital agenda that aims to strengthen the production capacities of banana growers and exporters worldwide in order to improve the overall competitiveness of the global banana industry. The four-day online convention is open to all those involved in the international banana supply chain; from producers and exporters to buyers, consultants, packaging and logistics operators.

Participants will have unlimited access to online conference sessions with international speakers, exchanges of global experiences, a virtual exhibition and digital business matchmaking roundtables to discuss, learn and collaborate at a time when innovation and cooperation are of utmost importance.

Topics will cover financing investment for sustainable development, smart technologies, Blockchain strategies, responding to the coronavirus (Covid-19) health emergency, plans and prospects for commercial investment, plus international trade developments, among others.

Marianella Ubilla, President of AEBE, explains: “As we reinvent ourselves as an Association, we have built an event of international importance that responds to the current needs of producers, exporters, and suppliers. This meeting will allow us to exchange views with global markets. Ecuador is the largest banana exporter in the world due to its high-quality standards. For this reason, we want to strengthen the development of a sustainable production chain that allows us to open more opportunities for everyone, and for the benefit of our national economy.”

José Antonio Hidalgo, Executive Director of AEBE, adds: “Our objective is to develop a greater international market for bananas. To achieve this, structural improvements must be implemented within the production processes on the farms; we must promote greater agility in procedures and generate sources of financing. Every day we face great challenges, therefore as an industry we must respond with resilience and unity. The XVII International Banana Convention 2020 will make it possible to capitalise on national and international experiences that promote the construction of a long-term sustainable vision.”

Verónica Chavez, Vice Minister for Export and Investment Promotion at PRO ECUADOR, comments: “Bananas are our first export product, and, for this reason, PRO ECUADOR is co-organising with AEBE a virtual B2B event as part of the International Banana Convention 2020. Our Trade Offices around the world will confirm the participation of 15 banana buyers for this online B2B event from China, Russia, the Netherlands, Germany, Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Chile, among others.”

‘Banana Time’, the XVII International Banana Convention 2020, will bring together the main national and international players from throughout the global banana industry. A secure and reliable platform www.bananatime.ec has been created where participants can complete the registration and payment process online in order to obtain their access credentials. Download the programme here.

Key facts about Ecuador:

  • Ecuador is the largest exporter of bananas in the world and is widely regarded for its premium and sustainable offer.
  • During the pandemic, Ecuador has sustained its banana exports. Between January and June 2020, sales increased by 8.74% compared with the same period of 2019, according to figures from AEBE.
  • To date in 2020, Europe is the main destination market for Ecuadorian bananas, receiving 34.27% of the total export volume, according to AEBE.
  • In the first half of 2020, Europe, Russia and the Middle East were the largest destinations for Ecuadorian bananas, accounting for 71% of total exports.
  • During the first half of 2020, Ecuador recorded important increases in banana exports to northern Europe (up 12.6%), eastern Europe (+16.6%), and Africa (+105.9%).
  • Ecuador’s banana exports to the USA totaled US$399.2 million (m) in value for 2019, and US$299m from January to June 2020, including baby bananas and organic bananas. 
  • Ecuador’s banana exports to Canada totaled US$2.4m in value during 2019, and US$2.3m from January to June 2020, including baby bananas. 
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ECUADOR TARGETS UK & EUROPE FOR GOLDENBERRY EXPANSION

First Virtual Ecuador Food Fair is a hit

The super fruit has the right attributes to win over more consumers in the berry category, whether fresh or dried.

The Trade Office of Ecuador in the United Kingdom, PRO ECUADOR, announces its objective to increase exports of Ecuadorian goldenberries (physalis) to the UK and Europe by positioning the healthy fruit as a type of berry with unique flavour, incredible nutrition and convenient versatility.

PRO ECUADOR is actively pursuing potential new clients across the UK. Already, Ecuador’s leading goldenberry suppliers, Terrafertil and Golden Sweet Spirit, export to Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands.

Golden Sweet Spirit will also raise the profile and promote the sales potential of goldenberries among European buyers by taking part in The Global Berry Congress 2020 on 7-9 December in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Juan Carlos Yépez Franco, Trade Commissioner of Ecuador for the PRO ECUADOR Trade Office in London, explains: “In the last three years, Ecuador has exported US$87.1 million-worth of exotic fruit to the European Union (EU). Of that total, exports of fresh and dried goldenberries accounted for US$2.2m, including US$500,000 of dried fruit supplied to the UK.

“We see considerable potential in the UK, as well as opportunities across the EU, for both fresh and dried goldenberries from Ecuador. Between May and July this year PRO ECUADOR hosted no less than five virtual B2B business events, during which 26 UK buyers expressed their intention to purchase over US$1.5m-worth of Ecuadorian fruit, including US$1.18m-worth of exotics.

“Despite these unprecedented times, Ecuador and the UK have found ways to strengthen our bilateral trade during the global pandemic. From January to May 2020, Ecuador’s fruit exports have risen by 22 percent in value to US$74.7m, and PRO ECUADOR is working hard to ensure this upward growth is maintained throughout 2020. Furthermore, this year the Ecuadorian National Assembly and President Lenin Moreno ratified the trade agreement between Ecuador, Colombia and Peru with the UK, which guarantees trade continuity between Ecuador and the UK.”

Golden Sweet Spirit is just one Ecuadorian goldenberry supplier that is increasing its production area with a view to expanding its export horizons.

Dennis Brito Madrid, Director of Ecuador’s Non-Traditional Fruit Growers’ Association and Golden Sweet Spirit’s general manager, reveals: “We wish to create a presence on markets like the UK, where, as a result of Brexit, we expect to launch in the near future. Obviously, the pandemic has slowed our expectations but we remain on the right track. Following Fruit Logistica 2020, where Ecuador benefitted from being the Partner Country, we have a lot of potential clients already. We see many opportunities to grow throughout Europe.”

The time is ripe for the goldenberry to shine. A bright orange Andean fruit that is exotic by nature, goldenberries are distinguished by their unmistakable flavour, juiciness, aroma, and, above all, a very high nutritional content.

Yépez Franco comments: “This is a fruit with an incomparable flavour that starts with a sweet palate and ends with a delicate sour note. Ecuadorian goldenberries have the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity, a fact which is prized by chefs the world over. Once consumers try goldenberries they are converted into regular buyers, especially those looking for health and wellness foods.”

Brito Madrid adds: “We are so convinced of the potential for goldenberries to succeed in the berry category that we are going to The Global Berry Congress 2020 to share our story, and to give this super berry with a super taste a well deserved make-over.”

Goldenberries are considered a super fruit thanks to their high content of antioxidants, Vitamins A, B and C, calcium, zinc, potassium, fibre, and iron, according to independent studies.

Brito Madrid explains: “This little berry is an incredible nutritional powerhouse! Goldenberries have more antioxidant capacity than apples, gojiberries, broccoli and pomegranate juice! They’re a wonderful, natural energy booster, with calcium to strengthen your bones, and more Vitamin C than an orange.”

Goldenberries are also very versatile. The fruit can be added to yoghurt, cereal or smoothies for breakfast, eaten as a snack, and used in salads, salsas, cheese platters, stews, curries or soups. Plus, they are highly regarded within the international gastronomy industry for the exquisite flavour and presentation they bring to desserts.

Ecuador supplies retailers, wholesalers and processors with a range of goldenberry formats, including: fresh fruit, dried fruit, jams and frozen. Supply is year-round by air and sea.

 

VIDEOS

The health benefits of goldenberries
Consumer sampling reaction

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New board of directors for the Mango Ecuador Foundation

New board of directors for the Mango Ecuador Foundation, Bernardo Malo, CEO and managing member of tropical produce shipping company Refin S.A.
Bernardo Malo, CEO /// PRESS RELEASE

 

24 June 2020 – The Mango Ecuador Foundation located in Guayaquil (Ecuador), which gathers around 97 % of the country´s growers, packers & shippers, recently elected their new Boards of Directors for the 2020-2022 period. 

Mr. Bernardo Malo, CEO and managing member of tropical produce shipping company Refin S.A. was unanimously elected as Chairman of the new Board, together with Mr. Oscar Orrantia, CEO of Durexporta S.A., as Vice-Chairman.

According to Mr. Bernardo Malo one of the main goals of the new Board is to work closely with all the industry in order to achieve better results for its members, especially during this challenging moments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mango business just as any other has its ups and downs, however the key factor is to be persistent and to have the right strategies in place in order to be able to compete successfully with the each time more demanding markets in terms of quality, marketing, food safety, and so on.

Mr. Johnny Jara who is the Executive Director of the Mango Foundation will continue to interact with its members and strategic partners. One of his main responsibilities is to coordinate the export pre-clearance programs with domestic and foreign public phytosanitary agencies.

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Ecuador’s banana exports increase despite liquidity issues

Ecuador’s banana exports increase despite liquidity issues

 

Ecuador’s banana shipments climbed 6.5% during the first four months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, reaching 135.7 million boxes. These figures come amidst a global pandemic that has hit Ecuador’s banana-growing regions particularly hard.

Richard Salazar of exporter association Acorbanec said, “We continue to export, despite seeing a reduction in demand on global markets, and once this crisis is over we are sure that our fruit will have a great position in the world market. We hope to exceed 2019 shipments, both in volume and value.”

However, all is not well within the sector, with exporters calling for urgent government help to provide liquidity to the sector, which has been severely affected by late- or non-payment from importers in key markets. In particular, Acorbanec is calling for a reduction in taxes and more flexible purchasing contracts.