The Philippines can officially lay claim to becoming the first Asian nation to export bananas to the US, the Business Inquirer reports.
The first shipment of highland Cavendish variety, grown in Bukidnon, arrived at the Port of Long Beach in Los Angeles County on 9 September.
The shipment comprised of seven metric tonnes, part of the planned 3,000 metric tonnes the US intends to import from the Philippines for 2013.
“We’re excited to see our very own bananas in grocery stores in California soon,” Hellen Barber-de la Vega, the Philippines’ Consul General, told the Business Inquirer after she inspected the products at the ripening warehouse at the weekend. “We waited eight years for this to happen.”
The bananas are scheduled to be distributed to large retailers as early as this Friday 20 September.
“We’re just waiting for confirmation from the distributor,” Barber-de la Vega said.
“With this shipment, we are hopeful that Philippine bananas would be able to find and satisfy a niche in the competitive US banana market,” the Philippines’ ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. added.
The southeast Asian nation first sought US market access some eight years ago.
The highland Cavendish bananas were exported by Dole Philippines to Dole Food Company and shipped from the Mindanao International Container Terminal in Tagoloan on 20 August.