Yesterday we saw what was happening during the 9 months of banana cultivation. Today, I will take you to see the next steps, namely the harvest and all the steps up to our fruit basket.
After 9 months, when the banana is almost ripe, it is the cutting.
Then the cutter cuts the banana tree which will be left on site and will become green manure. It is the rejection which at this moment takes over.
The post-harvest bunches of bananas arrive at the packing station :
They are then undressed.
Then, the bananas are rinsed with clear water before being labelled : Bananas label (the most beautiful) and bananas extra. They are then weighed and processed for preservation. The last steps are cartoning and palletizing before shipment in containers (maintained at 13°C) for France. The crossing takes 12 days to Dunkirk. They arrive green and then pass through the ripening plants for 4 to 5 days before finally arriving on our stalls.
Are the crops treated?
The Belfort banana plantation which covers 65 hectares and employs 30 full-time staff, was created in 1985. It mainly grows bananas of the Cavendish variety. It is certified Global Gap and sustainable cultivation. Every year, it is audited and the use of phytosanitary products is controlled. One of the main pests of banana trees is the weevil. To fight against its expansion, pheromone traps are used. Four of them are used per hectare and they are very effective.
Statements are taken every 15 days. If the traps have more than 15 weevils, one more weevil is added per hectare. Bananas are treated after harvest with fungicide (but which does not penetrate into the fruit), in order to guarantee a good conservation.
Banana label, bananas extra: what exactly is the difference?
They can come from the same hand of bananas. The difference lies in the size and visual appearance. We find the same label regardless of the banana producer and we must find it in France in our stores. This concerns bananas from Martinique and Guadeloupe. The most beautiful are the bananas label.
Why are bananas picked green?
Because otherwise they would be damaged during all stages, from picking to packaging. Even for local consumption they are picked green. Too much handling kills the banana.
Now you know as much as I do. Thanks again to Costa Croisières and XL Airways for the experience.
Click here for all my recipes using bananas.