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#508271 - 10/15/15 10:42 AM Dumping Tonnes Of Drought-Damaged Bananas
Marty Online   happy

Last week, we showed you Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s response to the difficulties that Maya King Banana Farm is experiencing due to the drought. He said that the Government simply cannot help one single farm.

Last week, we followed up with John Zabaneh, spokesperson for Mayan King Banana Farm. He told us that the company is still losing a lot of money due to truckloads of bananas that they cannot sell because they are stunted by drought and haven’t grown to the size that the international banana distributors require.

So Maya King has been forced to dump huge volumes of bananas, like this one, in the different communities near to their farm. They simply truck it over to public areas, such as a basketball court or a football field. There, they unload as much as 14 tonnes of bananas per truck and allow the residents to take home as much they want to their families. According to Zabaneh, the entire load – all 14 tonnes of it(!) - usually disappears within 10 to 15 minutes.

But, the company has gotten temporary relief. Zabaneh told us that Fyffes, one of the biggest fruit distributors in the world, has offered to provide a bit of assistance to Maya King so that they can afford to keep the staff of 1,200 employees. That financial assistance has allowed Mayan King, temporarily, to deal with expenses and to meet payroll.

Channel 7


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#508316 - 10/17/15 11:11 AM Re: Dumping Tonnes Of Drought-Damaged Bananas [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Mayan King: Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire?

For weeks we've been reporting on the difficulties that Johnny Zabaneh has been having at the Maya King banana farm in Stann Creek. It's the biggest banana farm in Belize and the one that was most affected by the drought which left the farm with tonnes of undersized bananas that do not meet export requirements. That left Maya King in a cash flow crisis - with not enough revenue to pay the hundreds of farm workers on its payroll - and no bank account to pay them from overdraft. Johnny Zabaneh went public with a plea for help - and it seems the international purchaser of Belize's Bananas heard him. As we reported, Fyffes agreed to help him with some bridge financing. And while Zabaneh told us that on record - and we reported it - it seems that report put Fyffes in serious hot water - since Zabaneh still has that kingpin designation on him. Reports to 7News say that the Banana growers Association promptly sent out a letter to growers saying it is ending relations with Maya King - and will not be buying anymore of its bananas. This is a massive blow to Maya King - and to Belize's banana industry overall - since that farm produces almost a quarter of the bananas exported from Belize. We could not reach Zabaneh for comment - but needless to say, the severing of relations with the sole exporter of Belize's Bananas - which is the Banana Growers Association - could prove fatal to Maya King farms, unless something is urgently worked out. We could not reach John Zabaneh for comment today, despite numerous attempts.

Channel 7


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