Banana Price Increase Due To Inspection Cost

November 29, 2019

The price of bananas has increased which is “related to the increasing cost of fruit inspection by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,” Butterfield & Vallis said, with the wholesaler explaining that ”importers are charged $10/case inspection fee on hundreds of cases per month locally plus fees charged by the USDA.”

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A spokesperson said, “As many consumers may have noticed, the price of bananas has gone up several times over the last year.

“The banana commodity price has remained relatively constant however, the price increase is related to the increasing cost of fruit inspection by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources [DENR].

“In November of 2018, a particular load of bananas was heavily impacted by Mealy Bug, a small insect that can, potentially cause damage to the Bermuda ecosystem, if undetected.

“Since that period, the DENR has mandated rigorous inspections of every lot of bananas being imported to the market. This is in addition to a DENR mandated inspection by the USDA prior to the export of the bananas.

“These two inspections come with not only significant operational challenges for importers but also a significant direct cost as the importers are charged $10/case inspection fee on hundreds of cases per month locally plus fees charged by the USDA. It also means bananas arrive in stores later and have less shelf life as they have been handled extensively.

“While there was optimism that these heightened inspections would be temporary, they have continued in place all year. That has meant that the cost of these inspections are having to be transferred to the consumer via higher pricing.

“Numerous efforts have been made by the importers to improve the situation, however they have unfortunately not resulted in fewer inspection related costs.

“The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has a mandated responsibility to protect the natural ecosystem of Bermuda which is fully supported. That said, importers are left in a position where the costs are either passed along to consumers or the import of bananas is discontinued.

“We do not want to see the Bermuda market without bananas, however we felt it important that the public understand the nature of recent price increases.”

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Comments (32)

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  1. Edwina Faries says:

    Why don’t they just put a price on the air that we breathe

  2. campervan says:

    Crikey imagine how much a chocolate covered banana would cost now with the sugar tax too.

  3. Onion_peels says:

    PLP lowering the cost of living in Bermuda one fee at a time.

    I guess the chocolate importers were complaining that fresh fruit was becoming cheaper than a chocolate bar. Gotta fix that.

  4. Southampton says:


  5. George says:

    Simple solution – lets get back to growing more of our own!

  6. Real Deal says:

    I would suggest that if the Bananas can be still be eaten if the bugs are neutralized then we should find a way to neutralize them whether they are on the bananas or not. maybe something like a hot dip bath for every shipment.

    If the bananas can not be eaten then we should train search Dogs to do the identification process instead of costly humans

  7. KennyR says:

    Question for Government. Is there any chance funds collected from the sugar tax can be used to offset the cost to consumers?

  8. Navin Johnson says:

    An extra $10 a case for doing their job?

    • loco poco says:

      for that i hope they inspect every single banana in every single box. Just how many cases fit in a container, Unless i am lost they can fumigate with gases?? then random inspect.The USDA is already done part of the job for them i would think.I does the need to protect against incoming infestation but this seems another money grab by govt to collect revenue for someone already being paid to do the job.

    • trufth says:

      My thoughts exactly! This is part of the DENR’s job description! This is literally their JOB!

      Should postal delivery personnel get paid more during the holidays because of increased mail?

      Do accountants get paid more during “busy season”?

      Do grocery store checkers get paid more on discount Wednesdays because of increased number of shoppers?

      This is ridiculous.

  9. I'm just saying says:

    The excuses for increasing prices is just criminal. When is it gonna end when do we the consumer put our collective foot down and say enough. We are being priced out if existence. They tell you to eat healthy and at the same time make all the healthy food so expensive to purchase. Something has to give. SMH!

  10. Onion_peels says:

    Is it true the Government is thinking of implementing a $10 per bag “inspection” fee at the airport for all arriving passengers?

  11. JB says:

    Luckily I invested in bananas last year and had great returns so far

  12. Will says:

    We already have mealy bugs here so what’s the worry?

  13. Roger Lambert says:

    Imported BanaNas gone up almost 50%. Local ones up 50% at most places. Are these inspected? Be more priced after the new crop since Humberto matures.

  14. Time Shall Tell says:

    SO what is it that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources do normally? Aren’t they a government department? It seems like we’re paying them twice to do the job they were put in place to do, to begin with. I could be wrong. *EDIT* OK so I just looked them up, one of the tasks they already do is “Regulates the importation of plants”, so if they already doing this under their normal scope of work why we are paying extra?

  15. Blewitt says:

    I feel sorry for Bermudians with their own mind. They know what’s coming, thanks to those who blindly follow the PLP

  16. Joe Bloggs says:

    I love it. The taxes I pay have increased by nearly 10% since 2017 and now I have to pay for Government produce inspectors on top of the tax increases!

    What next? An “Entry Charge” to pay for the Immigration and Customs Officers I see at the airport? A special “Waste Disposal Charge” to pay for the men who come by every other week to collect my rubbish?

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Actually , we already have that ‘double dipping’ thing going on. An example would be how in the old days you would go and get your vehicle tested at TCD. Once you had your pass slip and insurance form you went to the counter and paid the re-licensing fee and you were good to go for another year. Now there is a separate line charge for the examination of the vehicle besides the re-licensing fee.
      And that’s just ONE example .

  17. Dey has to be inspectified ! Vigorously…

    Actually inspectification is done via regular staff paid to do this presently…

    Yes…as you could expect the inspectors need to consult advisors…who know less but authorise the inspector inspectification.