Official blames feds for bananas stuck at port
By The Star Staff
Agriculture Secretary Ramón González Beiró said Thursday that 62 containers full of bananas from Ecuador and Costa Rica are stranded on the dock, and attributed the delay to federal authorities.
“The process normally takes a few days and we have the Christmas season that requires that green banana, and we expected to have those bananas already on the street in containers heading to supermarkets,” the official said in a radio interview while acknowledging the delay in the process by federal authorities. “Today is Thursday and unfortunately it has not been possible to make that deadline. Our personnel are available for the release, but we depend on the clearance by the feds.”
The Agriculture chief said the bananas are not currently in danger of maturing or spoiling.
“We do have the situation that the people want that green banana at this time, but those containers are refrigerated so the bananas are not going to spoil,” González Beiró said.
At the end of October the secretary gave assurances that green bananas would be available for the Christmas holidays.
“Our goal right now is to be able to get to purchasing this week and we could be seeing containers coming in for Thanksgiving week,” the official said at the time. “We have always said that we are going to have the imported product for Christmas, obviously from the [domestic crop] there will be very little, but we are going to have the ripe banana, the same as the plantain.”