The way of the banana

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The way of the banana



Growing bananas is hard work. It takes months to clear the land, dig holes and put in banana plants. After about six months, the banana fruit begins to appear.

At an early stage the growing bananas are wrapped in blue plastic. This stops the fruit from getting damaged. It also protects the fruit against pesticides that are sprayed on the plants.

After nine months, the bananas are harvested using a sharp knife. Bananas are still green when they are picked.

Bananas are washed and labeled before being put into boxes.

Bananas are taken from the farm to a warehouse in a truck. At the warehouse they are inspected and sorted.

Buyers of fruit in Europe want unbruised bananas and so very high standards are set. If the bananas do not meet these standards they are sold locally at a much lower price.

Bananas take six days to get from Latin America to Europe.

They are stored in the ship's hold which is refrigerated at 13.3°C. This cool temperature prevents them from ripening.

From the big harbors in Europe (Amsterdam, Hamburg etc), bananas are sent to ripening centers. These centers are located all over Europe, as it is very risky to transport ripe bananas.

From the ripening centers bananas are transported to supermarkets. An average European eats 7-10 kilogram bananas a year.

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