After a turbulent past two months, Dole Philippines may be handed a reprieve, with the company preparing to export bananas to the US for the first time, according to the Manila Standard Today.
The USDA is expected to issue the final ruling on the importation of Pilipino bananas during the first quarter of 2013, with Dole planning to export 3,000 tonnes of Cavendish bananas to the US before the end of the year.
“The ball is still with the US,” Philippine bureau of plant industry director Clarito Barron told the Manila Standard Today.
“Our exporters led by Dole Philippines are ready to take action, if and when they `US` decide it is alright to allow `banana` exports.”
Dole Philippines was set to export bananas to the US in December 2012, pending the approval of a final permit, but had to cancel the shipment in the wake of Typhoon Bopha.
With over 150,000 tonnes of Philippine bananas destroyed in the typhoon, Dole focused on servicing its existing core markets, including Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
Last month, communist rebels destroyed 15,000 banana palms at one of Dole’s plantations in the troubled Surigao del Sur province in northeast Mindanao.
Despite the losses, Barron said meeting the initial volume of 3,000 tonnes for the US market would not be a problem, as “Dole has the means to provide such minor volume.”