Agtech start-up AgroStar said its subsidiary INI Farms has shipped the first consignment of its Kimaye branded bananas to Fresh Del Monte in Europe, opening new horizons for the export of fresh Indian fruits.

The pilot was executed by INI Farms in collaboration with Agricultural Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), along with support from ICAR-Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture (CISH)-Lucknow for technical assistance, Fresh Del Monte for marketing and distribution in Europe, and Maersk for logistics, the company said in a statement.

The exports were flagged off on Thursday by APEDA Chairman Abhishek Dev from Baramati, Maharashtra.

Purnima Khandelwal, CEO, INI Farms, said, “We are delighted to partake in this trial shipment aimed at cementing India’s presence in the banana trade in Europe. The success of this trial shipment promises to unlock fresh prospects for our banana farmers in a market as quality-conscious as Europe. Over the years, our brand ‘Kimaye’ has become a well-known global consumer F&V brand out of India, synonymous with great quality and food safety. We are proud to join hands with thousands of banana farmers across India as we cater to the growing global demand for Indian bananas.”

New source of banana

Shardul Sheth, Co-founder & CEO, AgroStar, said, “India is the largest producer of bananas in the world. We see massive opportunities in banana exports and its potential to transform the lives of banana farmers across the country. We are committed to working closely with our farmers and partners and make it the first billion-dollar revenue fruit category from India. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to APEDA, ICAR and all our cherished partners. Their unwavering support and invaluable contributions have been pivotal in steering us towards this momentous occasion.”

“We are proud to be the first company to market and distribute Indian bananas in Europe and to be a member of the partnership that made this happen,” said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Fresh Del Monte’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Opening a new source of bananas to the entire European continent is a huge milestone and we hope this is just the beginning. We see this as a win-win for all parties involved, including consumers and banana growers across India.”