Bananas are Driving Me Bananas February 13, 2006

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I want to offer my apologies and share with you the explanation for the inconsistency in banana ripeness over the last few weeks. On October 4th of last year, hurricane Stan hit Mexico and generated separate tropical storms across Southern Mexico and Central America. On October 5th the Government of Guatemala declared a natural disaster. Guatemala was hit hardest -- the storm set off 900 landslides, killed over 669 people and forced the evacuation of 120,000 individuals, most from small villages. I write this to provide background to the banana supply problems we are having today. Most of the bananas that enter the United States come from either Guatemala or Ecuador. After hurricane Stan, USAID estimated that Guatemala lost $350 million in agricultural crops and almost all of its banana production. That shortage is now being seen by us. (http://www.usaid.gov/press/frontlines/fl_nov05/). The loss of the Guatemala banana crop has put a severe pinch on the supply of bananas in the United States and that also translates into a shortage of quality control on the grower and importer levels. Where we have traditionally had one stable banana supplier and have adhered to strict ripening standards for the procurement of our bananas, the shortage has forced us to source from multiple suppliers and banana brands. We have been told that the Ecuador growers are picking earlier to make up for the shortage and this can affect the quality of the ripening process. As always, we are committed to bringing you the highest quality fruit we can. Every day we search high and low for the best produce available. I am aware that some bananas have not met our delivery-day ripening standards of yellow with light green tips – I again apologize for this. I recognize that it may take an extra day or two for the bananas to properly ripen up. Relief may be in sight as other banana crops come on line in the next month. If you have questions or concerns please let us know. We still stand by our "no-questions asked" guarantee and will continue to provide top quality FruitGuys fruit. As always, fruit is a living and changing thing which is why we sample and test every day. Thanks for your business and patience with the bananas. Please call us with questions or problems. We want to make you happy and healthy!
chris@fruitguys.com

 

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