New deal to cut shipping time to UK
The agriculture ministry has inked a deal with a with a major shipping line which will see the time it takes to ship fresh produce from Jamaica to the United Kingdom (UK) cut in half.
Agriculture Minister Derrick Kellier notes that it typically takes 23 days to have produce shipped to the UK as it is usually routed through Rotterdam, in The Netherlands.
He says the deal will now facilitate direct shipping from the Dominican Republic to the UK and should result in the time being cut down to 13 days.
Kellier says the shipping line is also exploring calling at the port of Kingston later this year and sailing directly to the UK within 10 days.
Kellier was speaking at the 60th annual Hague Agricultural and Livestock Show in Trelawny on Wednesday.
Jamaica resumed export of bananas to the UK in June 2014 and has exported approximately 500 boxes to date.
The agriculture minister says during a recent visit to the UK enormous interest was generated for the export of Jamaican fresh produce to the UK.
He also says discussion is now under way with three major importers in the UK who have expressed interest in Jamaican bananas and that, with the increased demand, 381 hectares of new bananas would be established in the new financial year with input assistance through the All-Island Banana Growers' Association.