Tokyo, June 8 (Jiji Press)–The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo said Wednesday that it has asked Japanese retailers to raise prices for bananas imported from the Southeast Asian country.
The unusual request came as Philippine farmers are struggling to secure profits due to rising production costs.
Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V said at a press conference that prices for Philippine bananas need to be raised to prevent consumers from being affected by supply problems.
The Philippines accounts for nearly 80 pct of Japan’s total banana imports.
Retail prices for Philippine bananas in Japan have been flat for a long time, a blow to farmers struggling with soaring fertilizer prices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Philippine side urged Japanese retailers, such as supermarkets, to negotiate with importers to raise banana prices.
Japanese retailers expressed their understanding and said they will explain to consumers the need for price increases through in-store posters, according to a senior official at the Philippine Embassy.