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“We must not forget to eat bananas from La Palma”

José María Ruiz

When the volcanic eruption has ended, the historic banana ripening company Plátanos Ruíz invites us to eat bananas as the best way to help the Canary Island

José María Ruíz, manager of the company, underscores that “the most effective way to support and acknowledge the great work by the producers from La Palma is to continue ripening their bananas and, of course, to contribute to their consumption. The idea is to express our gratitude for everything we owe to this island and to acknowledge the incredible, unflagging work of the farmers who have been giving their all in such difficult circumstances, because without them we are nothing.”

The Catalonian company has had a close connection, dating back decades, with different suppliers from the island, such as Cupalma, Europlátano and San Remo. All of these companies have plantations in the Valle de Aridane area, the most suitable for banana-growing, and also the worst affected by the volcanic eruption. In fact, the three suppliers, and particularly San Remo, experienced very tough moments as they had to close their packaging plant due to the lava flow. Others, such as Europlátano, have slowed down their activity and their workers were placed on ERTE (Temporary Work Regulation), as the serious situation meant a regular working life was not possible. “We know that there are farmers who have lost not only their homes, but also their livelihoods. It doesn’t seem possible to be able to imagine so much tragedy occurring at once.”

“The bananas from this island have always been characterised by their very high quality and as artisanal ripeners, we know that now the outer appearance has been affected by abrasions from the micro-crystals formed by the volcanic ash, but these do not affect the quality of the product in any way at all. Consumers should shop in a supportive way, because the fruit inside is just as good and it is a way of contributing to the island’s recovery.”

The company, which is very active on social media, has been launching messages of this type during the months of the eruption, aimed at explaining to end consumers that the product, although it might be marked, continues to maintain its traditional, high-quality characteristics. They have also been underscoring their differentiating aspects compared to plantains, such as the proximity and the specific nutrients that come from the volcanic soil where they are produced.

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