The Port has also resumed imports of bananas from Guadeloupe and Martinique, following the destruction in August 2007 of nearly all the banana plantations in the French West Indies by Hurricane Dean. A CMA CGM container ship loaded with 4,800 tonnes of bananas docked at Dunkerque in early April.
Dunkerque is the gateway to the European market for French West Indies banana growers, and the 700 growers and those involved in the trade supply chain have shown a strong resolve to recover after the natural disaster. Farmers have replanted with healthy new plants, which are said to yield even better fruit than previously.
2008 will be a transitional year for the trade as it recovers, with a target of 150,000 tonnes by December, with two peaks expected in the spring and at the end of the year. By the end of 2009 it should have regained normal levels of 260,000 tonnes a year.