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JP Farms supplying ripe bananas to T&T

Published:Wednesday | August 17, 2022 | 12:11 AM
Neleta White, sales manager at JP Farms.
Neleta White, sales manager at JP Farms.

JP Farms, Jamaica’s largest commercial grower of bananas, has secured a customer in Trinidad & Tobago, bringing an end to a hiatus in the export of the fruit to that country.

Shipments resumed last month and since then JP Farms has supplied the twin-island nation with more than 19,000 kilograms of the fruit.

That number is expected to double this month, then quadruple over the next few months.

JP Farms is shipping ripening bananas to the T&T-based customer for retail distribution through supermarkets and grocery outlets across the island, Sales Manager Neleta White told the Financial Gleaner.

The company will ship a container of fruit each week at the outset.

JP Farms – which is a subsidiary of logistics and food conglomerate Jamaica Producers Group – will work closely with the T&T customer to penetrate the market for ripe bananas and, eventually, increase overall demand for the produce.

At home in the parish of St Mary, the company has been planting more bananas to supply its new client, as well as for export to the United Kingdom.

“We anticipated that there would be an increase in the demand for bananas, and so we placed more crops in the ground last year. As the demand rises, we have acreages [available] to expand production of the crop if necessary,” White said.

JP Farms grows bananas, plantains and pineapples on its near 1,000-acre property. Banana production takes up 400 acres, from which the company supplies both the local and international markets.

It also grows pineapple that are sold only in Jamaica, as well as plantains, which are chiefly sold locally, but JP Farm has plans to grow export of the latter produce.

The company’s markets outside Jamaica include the United States, Canada, Cayman Islands, the UK, and now T&T.

karena.bennett@gleanerjm.com