Jamaica’s largest commercial banana farm, JP Farms, has shipped its first container of Jamaican-grown bananas to CARICOM neighbour, the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
After a series of discussions with its Trinidad-based customer in June, JP Farms shipped the first container of over 19,000 kilograms of JP bananas in late July.
Sales Manager at JP Farms, Neleta White, noted that the container was received with no issues and early feedback from the customer included high praise for the quality of the Jamaican-grown fruit and optimism as the fruit is set to hit the market in short order.
“We are starting with a container every other week and are looking to increase that to one container per week in short order.”
She also noted the plan to work closely with the customer to expand the market penetration of the bananas and eventually increase the overall demand for Jamaican produce.
Sales Manager at JP Farms, Neleta White
“We plan to visit very soon to observe the Trinidadian market in action and offer commercial and marketing support to our customers where needed.”
JP bananas are grown and harvested on the company’s 500+ acre farm in St Mary, Jamaica. The business actively exports Jamaican-grown fresh produce to several overseas territories but has been looking forward to adding the CARICOM neighbour to its list of partners.
JP Farms reports that its half-year export volumes for 2022 are significantly up compared to the same period last year. Its other export markets include the US, Canada, Cayman Islands and the UK.
Marketing Executive at JP Farms Gayon Douglas said the company welcomes this opportunity to expand its export portfolio.
“We have been actively seeking export opportunities given the high productivity of the farm and our St. Mary farm team and this business with Trinidad is a direct result of those efforts. We are thankful for the prior work done some years back by Banana Board and our government in establishing the banana export link to Trinidad and paving the way for us to now strengthen regional ties,” she said.
Jamaica had previously started banana exports to Trinidad in 2017, however, that arrangement was later suspended due to supply chain issues.
JP Farms is a subsidiary of Jamaica Producers Group and is a leading producer of high-quality tropical foods in Jamaica.