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Ecuador: Asisbane put Together 100 Banana Plantations

18.5.2018

The Association of the Banana Industry of Ecuador (Asisbane) created in 2006 which currently groups exporters, producers and input suppliers related to the banana industry in the country could be defined as a banana holding company that seeks to consolidate the sector.

Asisbane thus outlined its initial strategy of optimizing the commercialization of bananas aiming to export them directly. Today, after achieving its primary objectives it has 40 producing partners distributed between Guayas and Los Ríos.

The commercial manager of the company, Alberto Jalil says that the first export destinations were Russia, countries of the European Union (EU) as well as the USA.

Currently the Asisbane market is distributed as follows: 40% in Europe, 25% in the Middle East and 15% in the North American nation. The remaining 20% is sent to Argentina, Turkey, Russia, Japan and China. In its first stage Asisbane exported approximately 12,000 boxes of bananas a week, now the average is 250,000 a week.

According to Jalil, in the last four years the company went from exporting 4.6 million boxes per year to the 12.6 million reached last year. The association managed to sell close to US$ 100 million in 2017 among the various markets it reaches. The manager of the banana company attributes the success they have to the confidence of the customers in the quality of the fruit. "We have managed to form a good team of producers who already have experience in the area."

Asisbane also has two international certifications; Global G.A.P. and Rainforest Alliance, which are related to good agricultural practices.

The association groups about 100 farms in almost 5,000 hectares (ha) planted with bananas and has a supervision team in different areas assigned to each process. "With that we make sure that the fruit is packaged with all the quality standards that our customers demand," he says.

In total, the company has 45 employees, including the administrative, production and logistics areas, which includes the shipping division. The association offers services to its producers, like identification of opportunities in different destinations, information on the behaviour of markets and representation before public and private entities.

Jalil ensures that the main demands that buyers make to exporters are quality and certifications. "Every year the consumer is more demanding about what he receives and buys in the supermarkets".

In Jalil’s opinion the competition has also strengthened. The main rivals are Costa Rica, Guatemala and Colombia, countries that have increased their production. "With them we share the European customers," he says. Jalil believes that Ecuador is increasing its global presence thanks to trade agreements but maintains that it is still necessary to aim for greater diversification to be able to compete better. That is why he believes that signing the Inclusive Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) will represent an important opportunity.

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