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Agent: A lot of scruffy fruit coming out of SVG

Agent: A lot of scruffy fruit coming out of SVG

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A representative of the marketing agent for Windward Islands agricultural produce has called for an improvement in the quality of bananas shipped from these shores.{{more}}

Speaking at a special meeting convened by the Ministry of Agriculture, Cuthbert Joseph, sitting in for WINFRESH Director Dr. Errol Reid, stated that bananas received from St. Vincent and the Grenadines are becoming difficult to sell on the United Kingdom (U.K) market due to serious quality defects.

“To highlight those defects; they are generally mixed ripening and mixed grades.”

“We are also seeing a lot of scruffy fruit coming out of St. Vincent, and to a large extent, we are beginning to see the ugly head of crown rot on the fruit out of St. Vincent; and that fruit is not suitable for the supermarket business in the U.K.”

Joseph indicated that since the resumption of the export of bananas from St. Vincent and the Grenadines in late June, eight months after Hurricane Tomas in October last year, the highest volume of banana shipped out was 62 pallets (just over 2,000 boxes), with the lowest volume being 23 pallets, which was shipped out last Sunday, September 18.

Joseph indicated that WINFRESH is fully aware of the situation affecting the local banana industry, causing the low yields and quality defects. He informed the famers and other stakeholders in the industry that he believed the experience in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was more than enough to get the job done, and that WINFRESH was prepared to assist in anyway it could to ensure a better crop is available for consumption on the European market.

“The St. Vincent fruit is generally characterized by poor quality, quality that is unsuitable for the UK market.”

“Going forward, I believe we all know what is required, if we are to have a viable banana industry in St. Vincent.”

“I think it’s a matter of doing what is required, once we’ve established a position that we will continue to export bananas to the UK market.”(JJ)

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