On Wednesday afternoon, I visited two banana farms that were in the process of packing the bananas. Banelino producers take pride in the quality of their bananas and their buyers have very high standards as well. The selection process of the banana sent abroad is intense. The large bunch comes across on the cable system and smaller "hands" (what we would typically call a bunch in the US) are cut and placed in tanks of treated water. From there, workers select the most perfect of the bananas for exportation. Those bananas then are placed in yet other tanks and selected a second time. Finally they are weighed, labeled, boxed and placed on the dock for pick up. A technician from Banelino is always on site to verify that the bananas are organic. Despite the fact that this is done outside, in the middle of the banana farm, the cleanliness and hygiene guidelines are strictly followed. The banana producers work side-by-side with the workers. As we were leaving, the refrigerated semis were waiting to pick up the bananas and take them to the port for shipment to Europe.
My take away from this visit is that the banana production is time-sensitive. fair trade and organic-certification requires great care during the production, harvesting, and shipping of the fruit. Banelino producers and workers take great pride in their organization, their livelihood, and the fair trade, organic bananas.
|Banelino administrative offices|
|Banana bunches on the cables prior to selection and packaging|
|One of the Banelino member producers with his bananas in the selection tanks|
|Banelino quality control at packaging point|
|Ready for the refrigeration semi to transport|
|No eating signage in Spanish and Haitian Criolle/Kryol|
|Ready for next harvest|