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Banana Economics Forum Bananas are the number one exported fruit in the world, and the number one fruit eaten in nearly every country. This forum is for discussions of the economics of bananas involving producers, economists, consumers, transporters, wholesalers, and governments.


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Old 10-05-2012, 08:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Plantain price gauging

Apparently supermarkets are charging $0.80-$1.00 per plantain in Puerto Rico. And here I was selling 5/$1. Perhaps the next time I travel down there I will bring a few cases of fruit to pay for my trip.

Pide bajar el precio de plátanos - El Nuevo Día
El presidente de la Asociación de Agricultores, Ramón González, dijo hoy que el precio de un plátano de buena calidad debe rondar entre los 55 y los 65 centavos, y no llevar a $1, como ocurre en establecimientos de venta al detal en la Isla.

"Hablar de 80 centavos y $1 es completamente injusto para el consumidor, y provoca que la gente siga moviéndose a tostones y amarillos congelados de Centroamérica y Suramérica. Esto es una tendencia. Los supermercados han hecho esto con todos los sectores de la agricultura, como lo hicieron con los huevos", expresó González en entrevista con WKAQ 580.

Según González, cuando el agricultor vende el plátano, su precio fluctúa entre los 30 y 35 centavos, si es un producto de primera calidad. Agregó que, de ahí, el revendedor debe tener una ganancia razonable, que podría ser de unos 25 centavos.

"Al final de la cadena, no veo razón por la que ese plátano deba estar a más de 55 o 65 centavos. A dos por peso debería estar ahora mismo. Ese sería un precio justo para el consumidor y el agricultor", reiteró González, quien también se dedica a cultivar plátanos.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Plantain price gauging

Here in Tucson, the local Asian Grocery store charges $1/lb. I think you are undercharging! Although, they do have a special: they fill a bag (about 5 lbs) of plantains that are very ripe and charge $1. I use those for shakes.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain price gauging

Puerto Rico asks for plantain prices to be lowered
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain price gauging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex View Post
Here in Tucson, the local Asian Grocery store charges $1/lb. I think you are undercharging! Although, they do have a special: they fill a bag (about 5 lbs) of plantains that are very ripe and charge $1. I use those for shakes.
Down here the ripe plantains are more valuable than the green ones. I have seen green ones in the latin markets for 4-6/$1 but the ripe ones are never less than 2/$1
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain price gauging

These prices of $0.80 to $1 in supermarkets have been common for more than 5 years, and it was comical to see it make the Front Page.

Here is my take on the issue.

Puerto Rico is a closed banana market, no imports allowed.
Even though the farmer is getting a high price of $0.30 to $0.35, this is not the root of the problem.
Labor costs are high here and it is very difficult to steal employees from Uncle Sam, his financial package with benefits is higher and nothing is expected in return. A person can sit on their couch and watch free cable TV or talk on their free cel phones.
The Banana Industry here is mostly small family owned farms and the system works fairly well, but the consumer does pay a slightly elevated price to keep these farms operational.

I believe the problem is with the reduced competition in the supermarket business. When one company controls the majority of retail sales, they seem to set the market price and the others follow. It might be possible that government predictions will prove to be correct and by having one or two large stores the prices will fall to all time lows, but this has not happened yet.
I saw the writing on the wall many years ago, the BOX STORE does not like to operate in a closed market system. As their influence grows they will probably be able to open the market for imported bananas. By mantaining high platano prices they will gain some public support for openng the market.
In the meantime I see Mom & Pop stores that are struggling to survive sell platanos for $0.50 each, and I also see street vendors selling for a dollar. The solution lies with the consumer, stop paying a dollar and start visiting your local M&P stores.
A retailer will charge what consumer is willing to pay, a consumer with less options is willing to pay more and your local BOX STORE will gladly assist you.
Imagine an Island after a BOX STORE has been able to eliminate the competition of the Farmers and M&P stores, sounds like PARADISE with GREAT VALUE.
The large plantations in other banana regions are more mechanized, have more fertile and level farmland, with much lower labor costs.

FYI
I am not against BOX STORES or the Free Market System. For the FMS to be equal and fair maybe people and goods should both have the ability to travel freely. My guess would be that the population of Chicagoland would skyrocket, offering the highest benefit package with all advertising done by word of mouth. Why labor in the fields when you can get paid to live in climate controlled public housing in the Windy City. Less developed countries would be forced to increase income levels or risk losing their workforce to a couch somewhere in the U.S.A.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain price gauging

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
These prices of $0.80 to $1 in supermarkets have been common for more than 5 years, and it was comical to see it make the Front Page.

Here is my take on the issue.

Puerto Rico is a closed banana market, no imports allowed.
Even though the farmer is getting a high price of $0.30 to $0.35, this is not the root of the problem.
Labor costs are high here and it is very difficult to steal employees from Uncle Sam, his financial package with benefits is higher and nothing is expected in return. A person can sit on their couch and watch free cable TV or talk on their free cel phones.
The Banana Industry here is mostly small family owned farms and the system works fairly well, but the consumer does pay a slightly elevated price to keep these farms operational.

I believe the problem is with the reduced competition in the supermarket business. When one company controls the majority of retail sales, they seem to set the market price and the others follow. It might be possible that government predictions will prove to be correct and by having one or two large stores the prices will fall to all time lows, but this has not happened yet.
I saw the writing on the wall many years ago, the BOX STORE does not like to operate in a closed market system. As their influence grows they will probably be able to open the market for imported bananas. By mantaining high platano prices they will gain some public support for openng the market.
In the meantime I see Mom & Pop stores that are struggling to survive sell platanos for $0.50 each, and I also see street vendors selling for a dollar. The solution lies with the consumer, stop paying a dollar and start visiting your local M&P stores.
A retailer will charge what consumer is willing to pay, a consumer with less options is willing to pay more and your local BOX STORE will gladly assist you.
Imagine an Island after a BOX STORE has been able to eliminate the competition of the Farmers and M&P stores, sounds like PARADISE with GREAT VALUE.
The large plantations in other banana regions are more mechanized, have more fertile and level farmland, with much lower labor costs.

FYI
I am not against BOX STORES or the Free Market System. For the FMS to be equal and fair maybe people and goods should both have the ability to travel freely. My guess would be that the population of Chicagoland would skyrocket, offering the highest benefit package with all advertising done by word of mouth. Why labor in the fields when you can get paid to live in climate controlled public housing in the Windy City. Less developed countries would be forced to increase income levels or risk losing their workforce to a couch somewhere in the U.S.A.
I've often thought it was funny that we have people risking death to come work in this country, and people that are born here are happy to sit and collect a check. Florida's governor had talked about requiring people on assistance to volunteer 10 hrs a week and you would have thought the he was asking them to prostitute themselves. I have no problem with government coming in and helping out the poor, but the public ought to get something in return. And the outrage about not being able to buy junk food with food stamp was absolutely a farce.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain price gauging

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
Labor costs are high here and it is very difficult to steal employees from Uncle Sam, his financial package with benefits is higher and nothing is expected in return. A person can sit on their couch and watch free cable TV or talk on their free cel phones.
That's the truth. I find it just a crazy policy the government has put in place. I wish I could sit on my ass (not donkey, lol) and do nothing and make a decent wage. I resent paying for these freeloaders in our society.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain price gauging

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
I am not against BOX STORES or the Free Market System. For the FMS to be equal and fair maybe people and goods should both have the ability to travel freely.
Yeah, the government wants free trade with everyone else across the globe!
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain price gauging

I was at Ralphs today and noticed the price per platano was only 80 cents.

Maybe the Front Page article did help make some changes.

The fruit was well below Grade A with an average weight of 6 oz.

Which brings the price per lb to about $2.13 and the actual fruit cost to the economical price of only $3.20 per lb.

In my opinion platanos should be sold by weight and not per unit.

Bananas are sold by weight and the average consumer can easily compare prices between stores.

A dollar for a 14 oz fruit ( $1.14 lb ) is much better than a 6 oz for $.80 ( $2.13 lb )



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Naranja View Post
I've often thought it was funny that we have people risking death to come work in this country, and people that are born here are happy to sit and collect a check. Florida's governor had talked about requiring people on assistance to volunteer 10 hrs a week and you would have thought the he was asking them to prostitute themselves. I have no problem with government coming in and helping out the poor, but the public ought to get something in return. And the outrage about not being able to buy junk food with food stamp was absolutely a farce.
It was not that long ago when many recipients felt that using the paper food stamps was too degrading.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain price gauging

This has nothing to do with "Plantain price gauging in PR", but I believe this is another form of gouging in PR.
The use of coupons, I was informed that the sale tax law was written in a way to included sales tax on coupons. This appears to me to be inherently wrong, why should you pay tax on money that is not used or spent. In PR we pay sales tax on the final cost of the item plus sales tax on the value of the coupon. A buy one get one free coupon is essentially taxed twice.

Is this a common practice in the States?

Many of our laws are often copied from the States and maybe the translation was messed up on this one.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain price gauging

Quote:
Originally Posted by austinl01 View Post
That's the truth. I find it just a crazy policy the government has put in place. I wish I could sit on my ass (not donkey, lol) and do nothing and make a decent wage. I resent paying for these freeloaders in our society.
I saw some of that yesterday in the VA Reps office.. The Rep and 2 helpers. One lady just B.S ing the whole time I was waiting, and continued after I left.. must be nice to be the assistant file clerk there..
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain price gauging

80 cents per plantain?!?!? I'd be a wealthy man if I could get that much. Let's see $24/stalk...400 plants per acre...2 harvests per year = $19200/acre/year. I could quit my job and lease more land as I counted stacks of money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
I was at Ralphs today and noticed the price per platano was only 80 cents.

Maybe the Front Page article did help make some changes.

The fruit was well below Grade A with an average weight of 6 oz.

Which brings the price per lb to about $2.13 and the actual fruit cost to the economical price of only $3.20 per lb.

In my opinion platanos should be sold by weight and not per unit.

Bananas are sold by weight and the average consumer can easily compare prices between stores.

A dollar for a 14 oz fruit ( $1.14 lb ) is much better than a 6 oz for $.80 ( $2.13 lb )





It was not that long ago when many recipients felt that using the paper food stamps was too degrading.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Plantain price gauging

What do other bananas cost per pound in PR? Plantains in my local grocery stores here in CA (the ones that sell plantains) are sold by the pound and usually cost $1.50 to $2.00. "Fancy" bananas like reds, Manzano, "baby" normally sell for the same range of prices, $1.50-$2. Cavendish probably average less than 50% of those prices, though I'm not positive because they often sold by the piece, rather than the pound.
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