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18/09/2013: FILIPINOS IN LOS ANGELES URGED: BUY BUKIDNON BANANAS TO PAVE WAY FOR MORE SHIPMENTS FROM THE PHILIPPINES

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-086-2013
18 September 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Philippine Embassy today urged Filipinos to pave the way for the entry of more bananas produced in the Philippines into the United States by purchasing highland bananas from the trial shipment from Bukidnon that will be available this weekend in Los Angeles.

“I call on our kababayans to patronize our own by buying highland cavendish bananas from the Philippines that will be sold for the first time in select supermarkets in the Los Angeles area this weekend,” Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said.

“For us to successfully penetrate the highly competitive US banana market, we need to show that there is a strong demand for highland cavendish from the Philippines,” Ambassador Cuisia said.

Ambassador Cuisia issued the call after four other companies have expressed serious interest in joining Dole Philippines in penetrating the huge US market, which has long been dominated by banana-exporting countries in Latin America.

The Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association said the four member-companies interested in exporting their highland cavendish to the US are the Dizon Group; Nader & Ebrahim S/O Hassan Philippines Inc.; Lapanday Foods Corporation; and the Tagum Agricultural Development Company Inc. of the Anflo Group of Companies.

The four companies announced their plans to enter the American market after the successful arrival in Los Angeles last week of the trial shipment of 7.047 metric tons of highland cavendish from Mindanao. The shipment is the first of an earlier estimate of 3,000 metric tons of bananas to be imported from the Philippines.

Dole Fresh Fruit Company, a subsidiary of Dole Food Co. Inc., said the Bukidnon bananas, which will be marketed under Dole’s Sweetio brand, will be available this weekend in the fruits sections of Gelsons stores in Encino, Century City, Tarzana, Newport Beach, Pacific Palisades, Calabasas, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, West Hollywood and Hollywood and in the Walmart stores in Baldwin Park, Corona and City of Industry. Dole’s plans will take off from the results of this market test.

"The US is the largest single country importer of bananas with a per capita consumption of 25 pounds,” Agriculture Attaché Josyline Javelosa said.  “The Filipino-American community of over a million in the West Coast can play a crucial role in creating that ‘niche market’ for Philippine bananas in the huge and competitive US market.###


PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-201-2013
18 September 2013

BANANAS. Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. checks out a sample of the highland cavendish bananas from Bukidnon that Agriculture Attache Josyline C. Javelosa brought back with her from Los Angeles where the maiden shipment of Philippine bananas will be distributed this weekend.