MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines could proceed with the shipment of highland Cavendish bananas to the United States within the first quarter of the year, the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) said yesterday.
BPI director Clarito Barron said Kelan Evans of the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) formally informed him of the importation ruling during their meeting yesterday.
Dole Philippines would now be allowed to ship 3,000 metric tons Cavendish bananas to mainland US.
Barron said that during the same meeting, Evans informed him that USDA- APHIS has also certified as pest-free mango plantations in Davao Oriental, and Samal Island.
“This means that we may also export mangoes from these areas other than Guimaras,” he said.
Barron said, however, there is still no volume specified for mango shipments to the US.
“We are still working on the protocols for that,” he said.
Because of the destruction caused by Typhoon Pablo to banana crops in Davao region and Compostella Valley, the country postponed the maiden shipment of Cavendish bananas to the US to fulfill export obligations to its premium markets like Japan and Korea.
Dole Philippines was supposed to ship an initial 3,000 MT of Cavendish bananas to the US in December.
The Philippine banana industry is now setting its sights on shipment contracts to US defense commissaries.