Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., the vertically integrated producers, marketers, and distributors of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, and Moze Holding Limited, a Talc Investment company, have announced the signing of a Somalia-based, multi-year banana partnership.
The partnership will allow Fresh Del Monte to have operational oversight while training the team on the ground. In return, the global produce distributor will purchase its banana supply directly from Moze, the newly established banana farm.
The bananas will be sold and marketed under the Fresh Del Monte brand for its markets in the Middle East, with the first harvest expected in 2024.
Somalia’s Economic Resurgence
Fresh Del Monte claims the partnership will not only significantly reduce banana transport times, giving consumers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) access to ‘fresher, lower-cost fruit’, but will also aid in Somalia’s economic resurgence.
The company claims that currently, bananas to the Middle East come from Central America or the Philippines, with average transit times ranging from 20 to 35 days.
Fresh Del Monte has noted that before the onset of its civil war in the 90s, Somalia was once a main hub for banana exports in Africa to European and Middle East markets, with production reaching its peak in the late 1980s to early 1990s.
“We are pleased to officially announce this partnership, which we believe is a game-changer for the banana industry in the region,” said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Fresh Del Monte’s chairman and CEO.
“The move to reestablish banana operations in Somalia makes sense on many accounts – from its strategic location on the Horn of Africa to fulfilling our mission of supplying our consumers with the freshest produce available – all while aiding in the country’s recovery.”