By November 15, 2021

I was extremely excited to do this shipment as this was our very first Banana shipment. And this time it’s not just one but 2 containers of G9 Cavendish Banana. Also, with this shipment, we started a new export location – Iraq. One of the best varieties of banana is exported from India. And having procured from the rich Banana growing regions; I was looking forward to this shipment.

A group of hands – Bunch / Stalk
Hands of Banana

The packhouse was located at Loni, Maharashtra. It is a small town in Ahmednagar which is known for its numerous colleges. Loni is a 5-hour drive from Mumbai and since this was our first shipment of bananas, I decided to travel down and visit the facility of the exporter. The exporter is a renowned and exclusive supplier of bananas and has 2 more packhouses in Maharashtra. He is also coming up with 2 more offices internationally, namely: Philippines and Netherlands.

I started early for the long drive and after traversing through the hills laden with windmills I reached our supplier’s facility. It is comprised of a cold store and a grading and sorting plant where freshly arrived produce from farms undergoes grading and sorting so that it can be packed for export. Our exporter had taken special care to ensure that every box had a germination paper and ethylene absorber so that the produce reaches its destination in its best state. Pre-cooling at 13 deg C plays an important role as the produce needs to reach the destination port in raw form.

Windmills on the way to Loni, Maharashtra.

At the destination, the produce is subjected to ripening in the ripening chamber where ethylene gas is used for this purpose. I am hopeful this shipment will pave the way for many more shipments to Iraq. At FUB, we strongly believe in procuring only quality produce from experienced growers. Also, we ensure that packing is done using the best quality packaging material and by maintaining the right temperature.

Boxes undergoing pre-cooling

From my first visit to Banana packhouse, I realised that it is important that the produce is of first harvest (called Suru in Marathi). There are 3 types of harvest in Banana (1st, 2nd and 3rd). The quality differs with each harvest. Pre-cooling is a crucial step that is skipped by some of the exporters to save on time and money. However, for the produce to sustain a transit period of 10-14 days precooling is inevitable. Also, the use of germination paper and Ethylene absorber is important. Prior, absorbs moisture in the liner / box and later prevents ripening during transit by absorbing any ethylene that is emitted by the produce. I will keep all our readers posted about this shipment in my next blog. Till then, “Eat healthy and stay safe.”