Filipino banana growers call for Australian understanding
The Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) has again called on Biosecurity Australia to change its strict import standards, asking the organization to recognize the climatic differences between the two countries, website Philstar.com reported.
PBGEA representative Maria Emilia Rita Fabregar told the website growers would find it difficult to meet Australia's demands for non-perforated plastic bags, as Filipino farmers used perforated plastic bags due to heat build-up which affectedfruit ripening.
Fabregar added it would also be difficult to meet requirements to have eight leaves on banana bunches prior to harvest, as the Filipino standard was five leaves.
PBGEA executive director Stephen Antig told Malaya Business Insight the Australian market was worth US$50 million annually, but Filipino producers only wanted to export the Cavendish variety and wouldn't aim to take the whole market.
The story reported Australia produces 270,000 metric tons (MT) annually while the Philippines produced 2.1 million MT
The story reported most of the Philippines' banana shipments were exported to Japan, but the market was saturated and alternatives were needed.