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New Zealand’s Banana Supply Struggles: Weather and Imports Impact Availability

New Zealand’s Banana Supply Struggles: Weather and Imports Impact Availability

New Zealand heavily relies on banana imports from countries like Mexico, Ecuador, and the Philippines, with an annual import of around 85,000 tonnes.

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New Zealand heavily relies on banana imports from countries like Mexico, Ecuador, and the Philippines, with an annual import of around 85,000 tonnes. However, changes in weather patterns have made it difficult for exporters to meet the country’s high demand for bananas. Dole, the largest banana supplier in New Zealand, has faced challenges due to the weather conditions in Ecuador and the Philippines, resulting in a shortage of around 20-30% in supply. The company has been able to meet some of the demand, selling approximately 50,000 boxes of bananas weekly.

Image: Tropical Fruit Growers of New Zealand

The chair of the Tropical Fruit Growers of New Zealand, Hugh Rose, expressed concerns about the country’s heavy reliance on banana imports and suggested the potential for a thriving local banana industry. With the changing climate, the feasibility of growing bananas in New Zealand has increased. Despite the longer growth time compared to tropical regions, local growers emphasize the superior quality and freshness of New Zealand-grown bananas. Some varieties have proven to be hardy, even in cooler regions with appropriate protection. The hope is to encourage the cultivation of bananas across the nation, given their potential viability in New Zealand’s warmer climate.

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