France: Caribbean-origin bananas to be marketed with tricolor flag -

France: Caribbean-origin bananas to be marketed with tricolor flag

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France: Caribbean-origin bananas to be marketed with tricolor flag

Bananas grown in Guadeloupe and Martinique are to be packaged with a specially designed tricolor label so French consumers realize the origin of the fruit. Cork photo

The blue, white and red ribbon will be wrapped around bunches of three, four, five or six branded ‘French Bananas’ as part of a campaign to drive sales of French-origin fruit grown in the overseas Caribbean islands known as Lesser Antilles.

The Union of Guadeloupe and Martinique Producer Groups (UGPAN) has invested approximately €€650,000 (US$6959,000) in machinery processes based at Dunfresh factory close to Port Ouest in Marseille.

The tricolor band has an incorporated barcode, allowing shoppers to take bananas directly to cashiers without having to weigh or bag, and a tracking code displaying the packaging date.

UGPAN aims to reach 1.4 million bunches per week.

They are already available in around 500 E. Leclerc, Intermarché, Cora, Système U and Casino stores across France as part of the initial testing phase, with plans to roll-out the tricolor packaging concept to 4,000 retailers nationwide by mid 2017.

"“This innovative concept allows banana sales in bunches of between three to six fruits and removed any references to kilogram weight,"” a UGPAN spokesperson tells

"It also highlights the French origin by placing a blue, white and red ribbon around the bouquets indicating the number of fruits and is equipped with a bar code allowing consumers to save time by avoiding weighing.

"“It will also contribute to the significant reduction of breakage and combat waste.”"

Banana cultivation in Martinique and Guadeloupe

Around 270,000 metric tons (MT) of bananas are grown in the two islands per year, with 200,000MT going to France.

The fruit is mainly grown on a 650-strong network of family farms or plantations with an average of 13 hectares each.

Two producer groups, Banamart in Martinique (420 producers) and LPG in Guadeloupe (230 producers) cultivate a total of just under 8,500 hectares.

Both groups are responsible for a large proportion of agricultural employment; half of Guadeloupe's agricultural jobs and 80% of Martinique's agricultural jobs, accounting for 6,000 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs.

Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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