Canarian bananas on sale in the UK

As tourism numbers fluctuate, with some sources saying they’ve increased and others that they’ve plummeted, and certainly as Tenerife suffers from excessive air charges, Iberia strikes, and the general economic woes of Europe, let alone Spain, there are some here who fortell that the Canarian economy will have to diversify. Some say that oil will be the saviour, though that is disputed by those who warn of the dangers of a catastrophic oil spill, while others say the Canaries will have to “go back” to the bananas …

Well, maybe bananas are a way forward too, and certainly Asda will be the first to sell Canarian bananas. The supermarket says that it wishes to reduce the banana’s carbon footprint, and will therefore ditch its central American imports in favour of our own platanos. Bananas will be shipped to the mainland and then taken by road to British ripening centres, the journey taking just four days compared with twenty four for central American produce, a cut in transportation time of over 80%. A further bonus is that the fruit will also be fresher when it reaches British stores.

Asda says that it has been working with importers IPL and Fyffes, under whose label our bananas will be sold at £1.50 for a bunch of six: they are already on trial in over 230 Asda stores. It appears that this is the first time Canarian bananas will have been exported to the UK. Let’s hope that the trial is successful, and that many other supermarkets follow Asda’s lead. If so, the banana can resume its place as an economic motor for the islands, along with oil, maybe … and perhaps the uncertainties of the tourism economy might be a little less make or break in the future.



  1. Just been reading about this myself. Apparently the Canarian bananas are replacing Fairtrade bananas, so it will be interesting to see if there is any backlash against that in the UK. Makes perfect sense in terms of food miles though, so better for the environment as well as a boost to local Canarian economy.

  2. Thats good news, I am going to email Tesco to see if they will start stocking them also. Worth trying all the big names in supermarkets in the UK.
    Wish we could get the green padron peppers too!

  3. Great news on the banana front, I love Canarian bananas, so much tastier than the others. I’ve got good news for Murphy49. You can get padron peppers in Waitrose!

  4. Really?? Well that is good news, thank you – are they all year round do you know or seasonal?

  5. Are there any Fairtrade Canarian bananas?

  6. Author

    No. It’s an organization to help third world producers. We’re part of Spain, part of Europe, etc., so the first world … so they say …

  7. Waitrose have padron peppers pretty much all year round. I’ve also heard they are available at Borough Market but that’s no use to me as I live in Yorkshire.

  8. I am from Tenerife and I can confirm that Bananas from the Canarys are long way better than Fairtrade they are sweet and tasty.

  9. Asked about Fairtrade because lots of shops (eg Co-op) only sell them. Also people (eg me) try to buy fairly traded goods. But will be looking out for Canarian bananas now! Love them, when we are in Canaries.

  10. Good to see such a positive move by Asda and if the other supermarkets have any sense they will quickly follow suit.

  11. Pleased to see it is possible to buy Canarian bananas in uk. Much tastier than their giant carribian cousins

  12. I really hope they can stock canarian banana’s here. They are the only ones I eat. They are so nice. I hope it helps the farmers and communities in the canaries.

  13. Hi
    I have been in contact with the ASDA press office today – they say they are no longer stocking Canary Island bananas.

  14. Author

    What a shame. Thank you Lesley.

  15. I want to import my own banana from Spain and I have my own ripening room in the UK .looking for a partner. as well be nice to have some help as I do not spk spainish. Thank you for all your help need contacts .

  16. Can you imagine the UK selling fair trade Cornish Pasties and Mince Pies in The UK? So the same applies to Spanish produce as we have national and and EU laws that protect us from the kind of exploitation you get in developing countries and we want to fight buying fair trade, which is NOT the ultimate solution. It just helps them a bit and what they really need is to enjoy the same protection as we do in the continent and other territories that politically form part or it. We as customers need to keep a fair balance between fair trade (other foreign products) and local produce. Instead of fair trade we do have direct selling (and some companies do have agreements with us and sell organic Canarian bananas), as farmers tend to escape distributors’ dump pricing methods which are strictly monitored by the EU for example. Let us see the Hen egg producers in Spain that spiked prices claiming animal food had become more expensive. The Spanish state found this was a lie and sanctioned them with 40 mill. euros, protection that people elsewhere in the world can dream of.

    And Canarian bananas do taste wonderful here but in order to get full I myself need three… One single Latin American banana would do it… And I really want to taste a naturally ripened banana in over there…

    As a Canarian thank you keeping Canary Wharf name when building this financial district in the eighties. As per Fruit Line’s (subsidiary of Fred Ol this wharf was named after us. did in 1936 when Canary Wharf was built and , who shipped Spanish produce from the Mediterranean and the Canaries to the UK.

    Exporting bananas is not easy as they rot quickly, the shelving life is shorter that Latin American bananas, despite that fact that it takes only 4 days to get the UK – theirs 24 days, remember. The Canarian banana lobby Asprocan said they wanted to fix this but after 3 years we are still officially out of the British market.

  17. canary bananas were the first i ever tasted as a yougster just after the war

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