Business
JM | Jun 30, 2022

JP Farms expanding to meet export demand despite challenges

/ Our Today

administrator
JP Farms General Manager Mario Figueroa.

Jamaica’s largest commercial banana farm, JP Farms, is reporting a significant increase in its fruit export volumes since the start of 2022.

The farm, which exports Jamaica-grown fresh produce to several overseas territories, says year-to-date export volumes for 2022 are up 40 per cent over exports for the same period last year.

Its export markets include the United States, Canada, Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom.

Neleta White, sales manager for JP Farms, outlined that, despite the pandemic and recent logistics challenges, almost all of the company’s export customers recorded improved volumes compared to 2021, spurring the company’s overall improved performance.

MEDIUM-TERM OBJECTIVE TO INCREASE MARKET SHARE

“Our increase in export sales have been largely demand-led. We are working closely with our current export customers to support their sell-out rates as well as seeking additional customers in new and existing territories to continue expanding our footprint,” White explained.

She added that the growth of the company’s export portfolio has spurred efforts to seek out and cultivate overseas markets for plantains in addition to its traditional banana crops.

White further explained that the company’s medium-term objective is to gradually increase its market share for the supply of plantains locally, then seek export markets.

She also indicated that several export customers have already indicated an interest in the Jamaica-grown plantains once supply comes on stream for the diaspora markets.

“We still believe in local agriculture, local production and investing in Jamaican farming.”

JP Farms General Manager Mario Figueroa

In 2021, JP Farms pumped $100 million into plantain production with yield projected to boom in the fourth quarter of 2022. Additionally, over 50 acres of land were cleared and planted this year for the 2023 yield. 

Mario Figueroa, general manager at JP Farms, said the company was taking steps to ensure it can build on its recent export successes by innovating to reduce costs where possible, and expanding acreage on its banana, pineapple and plantain farms.

“We still believe in local agriculture, local production and investing in Jamaican farming,” Figueroa said.

BUILD BACK STRONGER THROUGH IMPORTS

In the face of challenges such as a 50 per cent price increase in farm inputs and recent shipping disruptions, Figueroa stated the company was determined to ‘Build Back Stronger Through Exports’ and play its part in revitalising the post-pandemic economy via agriculture.

JP Farms is a subsidiary of Jamaica Producers Group and is a leading producer of high-quality tropical foods in Jamaica grown on its 500+ acre farm in St Mary, Jamaica.

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