Factories using banana fiber to produce transport pallets

 cost-effective transport pallets               carbon emission  

 productive banana plantation                local employment

Cost effective transport pallets

Yellow Pallet sells technology to produce transport pallets and blocks made of banana fiber.

These blocks are used in block pallets replacing 26 to 32 % of the wood volume of a block pallet. Factories can offer a more cost-effective pallet.

Price of sawn wood increases every year leading to higher prices of pallets every year. Over 85% of the production cost of pallets consist of the required wood. 95% of all pallets in the world are wooden pallets. Banana fiber is a logical alternative for wood in the tropics where pallets demand is high for export of tropical fruit (e.g. bananas, pineapple and melons) and other products.

Measuring nail resistance in a banana pallet block

Productive banana plantation

Yellow Pallet factories offers a price to banana growers for their waste banana stems or for the part of the stem not being used for further banana production.

Alternatively, Yellow Pallet has specialized itself in growing a banana variety resitant to diseases that can produce in every 14 weeks a 4-6 meter stem. The capacity to produce dry fiber of such a plantation will be 4-6 times higher than a wooden forest.

In 14 weeks to 6 meters.

Or grow multiple smaller stems of the same variety as can be seen below, to make handling of stems more easy.

After cutting the stems grow both from new shoots as directly from the previous cut stems.

Reduced carbon emissions

Wood for pallets in tropical area's is often imported from pine-producing countries like Chile, thousands of kilometers away. Alternatively it is harvested from the parts of the mountains destroying nature's wealth. Both methods require substantial fossile fuels to harvest and transport. Banana fiber is available in abundance next to the designated factory locations.

Melina is a wood variety growing in the tropics that can be used for pallets. However it grows 4-6 times less fast than banana fiber in terms of dry-fiber quantity per hectare and wooden forests require substantial more land than banana plantations.

Royal HaskoningDHV has executed a study calculating a benefit of 22% reduced carbon emission compared to wooden pallets, with options to further reduce the emissions.

Local employment

During the construction of the factory and the creation of the harvesting system employment is created for many staff of local suppliers of metals, concrete, land workers, green house construction, electrical engineers and construction engineers.

During the operations of the factory both factory staff and management is actively employed in higher skilled jobs.

On the plantation more harvesters will be active to collect the stems.

The factory will will contribute to strengthening the local economy.




Picture: Test factory in Italy 2013

Picture: extruder in production factory in Costa Rica 2018

Yellow Pallet sells and supplies turn-key factories with supplies and services. The factories can produce pallets made of banana fiber blocks and wooden planks. Yellow Pallet works exclusively together with carefully selected equipment suppliers. The factory concept, harvesting model for the banana stems and setup of plantations (if desired) is developed by Yellow Pallet.

Each factory and banana stem harvesting model will be tailored to your specific need and location.

The minimum capacity of a factory is over 1 million pallets/year.

The engineering required for permits and quotations for local works can be executed by Yellow Pallet and its exclusive suppliers.

Factory under construction in Costa Rica d.d. 12-04-2018:


Yellow Pallet supplies resins, spare parts, maintenance and 24/7 monitoring via a remotely controlled software system.

The quality of the pallets are key for all the customers of the factories. Yellow Pallet offers the resins according to proprietary recipes through selected suppliers. Yellow Pallet offers spare parts meeting the maintenance schedules required for efficient production and quality production. A pallet from a Yellow Pallet factory must have the same quality everywhere to the benefit of all factories and customers.

The know-how on harvesting is crucial for the efficient growth and use of banana stems. Yellow Pallet has multiple solutions for harvesting based on fruit-stem and stem-only plantations, using waste stems or specifically grown stems for the purpose of using the fiber. Yellow Pallet can supply the seeds for a special disease resistant variety leading to a plantation that produces 4-6 more dry fiber than a wooden forest.


Yellow Pallet's after sales service includes maintenance and 24/7 monitoring.

Yellow Pallet offers to monitor the production parameters and maintenance status of the factories.

A pallet produced in a Yellow Pallet factory must have the same quality everywhere to the benefit of all factories and customers.

Yellow Pallet provides consultancy services for using waste stems, pinzottes or specifically grown stems for the purpose of using the fiber. Together with Wageningen University and Research and in-country banana experts the best harvesting model can be determined for a specific situation.



Yellow Pallet provides support in financing and business development. A feasibility study can be executed to tailor the financial projections to your specific situation in your country. With knowledge on and relationships with multiple sources of capital, Yellow Pallet can assist you in the development of your project.


In the press

November 2019. Yellow Pallet selected the Entrepreneur of the year in Costa Rica.

May 2019. Yellow Pallet in El Financiero in Costa Rica.

Skinned Banana

March, 2017: Follow Product Designer Lotte de Boer in her Skinned Banana Project. She has created new designer shoes using banana peel and heels made of pressed banana stem. Lotte used and modified Yellow Pallet's test-material for the heels and soles. The banana-leather is developed by Lotte. The televison item: Groenlicht demonstrates the creation and production process by Lotte. Original and creative towards a circular economy!

Skinned banana2

Jan, 2015: In the news: Berichten buitenland.

Oct, 2014: In the news: http://www.duurzaambedrijfsleven.nl/ and in Houtwereld.

June, 2014: In the news: Eurofruit article. June 2014_issue 474

May 26, 2014: In the news: BNR news radio. Interview with Hein van Opstal.

On the web

Video Reference factory and plantation

January 2021: Yellow Pallet in Article in Innovation Origins on Sustainability together with Wageningen University & Research. Article is also available in Dutch: ArticleNL.

December 2017: Yellow Pallet selected as one of the 5 Dutch finalists of the Chivas Venture competition. www.duurzaam-ondernemen.nl/nederlandse-finalisten-chivas-venture-2018-bekendgemaakt/

March 2016: New website of Yellow Pallet online

Nov 2015: Yellow Pallet and the 80 days campaign for the Paris PPMC COP-21

Oct 2104: PPM OOST website: http://www.ppmoost.nl/news/yellow-pallet-maakt-duurzame-pallet-van-bananenplant

March 28, 2014: In the news: http://www.climate-kic.org/case-studies/fruit-transport-going-bananas/

October 22, 2013: Presentation at European Climate KIC Venture competition.

September 26, 2013: Yellow Pallet wins Climate KIC Venture competition award in the Netherlands

Yellow Pallet news

Sept 29th 2020: Yellow Pallet in Costa Rica one of eight chosen winners of the contest “Del Campo al Plato” for Innovative Biodiversity Projects for banana and pineapple producers in Costa Rica by GIZ (The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit). The proposed project that we presented was the extension of the business model using Musa balbisiana stems to produce natural fiber to produce export pallets. Through a business model for a small producers to develop Musa balbisiana plantations that grows up to 4x faster than wooden forest (and therefore saves land and forests) and a basic processing system for dry fiber that consisting in a simple machine for chopping stems and an artisanal greenhouse for drying the fiber in the place. The purpose is that we can receive dry fiber ready to process and for producers to obtain a higher value for dry fiber.

Feb 24th 2020: Yellow Pallet's pallets in large quantities ready for shipment to the customers.

Dec 10th 2019: Yellow Pallet's pallets with bananas on the pallet and in the pallet arrived in Europe from Costa Rica and Panama in good condition. Location: Agrofair, Barendrecht.

July 4th 2019: Yellow Pallet reaches the EPAL (European Pallet Association) technical standards for pallet blocks made of banana fiber for the first time. A major achievement!

May 2019: Pallets with banana blocks for customers.

January 2019: Tuning and testing, every day a better block.

November 2018: Energy and steam production, ready to start production.

Aug 2018: Installation progress in Costa Rica

July 2018: Last machinery has arrived

May 2018: Factory and Greenhouse just before machinery arrives

May 2018: Construction works in the Factory in Costa Rica:

May 2018: Plantation with disease resistant variety. Harvesting starts second half of May for July tests in the factory.

Some roots have 20+stems in 14 months.

February 2018: Wood shortage not only a problem in the tropics:


December 2017: Second round of financing has been closed with private investors.

May 2017: In Costa Rica, the Setena resolution on environmental impact has been issued to Tarimas de fibras Agrícola, Yellow Pallet's subsidiary.

November 2016: First round of financing has been closed with a private investors group and Pomona Impact.

March 2016: Yellow Pallet starts with the realisation of a pallet factory in Costa Rica, supported by the private Impact Investor BothSidesNow.

May 2015: Letter of intent signed between Yellow Pallet and the Costa Rican pallet company Tara to start realizing a pallet factory.

April 8, 2014: FAO: Between 1990 and 2010 the loss of forest area in the world: 5,3 million hectares/year. Size of Colombia or 4 times Italy. Using Yellow Pallet's banana plantation design and harvesting techniques can lead towards 4 x the yield of dry fiber compared to the dry fiber yield of an hectare of wooden forest.

July 2013: Yellow Pallet receives 2nd grant from Climate KIC and grant from Wageningen UR

June 2013: Test with selected bio-chopper succeeds to chop stems in usable fibers

May 2013: Wageningen University and IMAL support production of palletblocks from 700 imported stems from Colombia.

December 2012: New Grant for Yellow Pallet's development activities approved by RVO (Dutch Public Fund).

October 2012: Start of Yellow Pallet's commercial activities; launch of the website.

September 2012: Yellow Pallet completed the feasibility study including customer commitments.

August 2012: Visit to China confirms business potential in a large non-export-banana market

July 2012: Technical layout of factories completed; technology development of specifications for key machinery in full progress.

June 2012: Visits to banana plantations in Colombia, Ecuador and The Philippines confirm business potential.

February 2012: Visit to Costa Rica's banana congress and banana plantations. Tested concept with key market players.

January 2012: Yellow Pallet B.V. funded by Startlife and PPM Oost to complete a feasibility study

About us

About us

The Dutch Limited company Yellow Pallet B.V. was first established in January 2012. With the support of Startlife, PPM Oost, Wageningen University and Research Center and impact investor BothSidesNow, Yellow Pallet has been able to conduct research, execute the required tests and to establish the business. Yellow Pallet works exclusively with 3 very experienced strategic mechanical engineering partners to realize the factories and services that produce blocks and pallets from banana fiber.

The founders of Yellow Pallet are Hein van Opstal (MSc, MBA) and Gert Kema (MSc, PhD). The daily management of the company is executed by Hein van Opstal. Gert Kema is employed by Wageningen University and Research Center and coordinates global research programs aiming at disease management in banana production

Yellow Pallet is supported by a group of experienced private impact investors and funds.

Early supporters

Yellow Pallet is supported by the following Banana, Dutch and European organisations:

RVO   Climate-KIC


PPM OOST Startlife


Technical and commercial support

Yellow Pallet is and has been supported by numerous technical organisations in Europe, Costa Rica and Colombia.  (Potential) Customers in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia and The Philippines have supported Yellow Pallet in the development of Yellow Pallet's business by providing information on the pallet specifications, the banana market, supplying stems, agreements to test the pallets and in developing harvesting models.



Duindoornlaan 31                                   PO Box 3186

2116 TK Bentveld                                     2001 DD Haarlem

The Netherlands                                    The Netherlands

Reference factory

Dirección: del Polideportivo de Siquirres 150 metros este, calle Betania, Siquirres, Limón Province, Costa Rica

Tarimas de fibras agrícolas S.A. domiciliada en Sabana Business Center, piso 11, oficina de Facio & Cañas.

Calle 68 y Boulevar Rohrmoser.

San José, Costa Rica.

Contact us

You can call or mail Yellow Pallet. (Netherlands)                           Tarimas de Fibras Agrícolas S.A. (Costa Rica)

+31 6 53571196 (Hein van Opstal)                                                         +506 8352 8668 (Susan Hoekstra); +506 6334-6027 (Hein van Opstal); +506 4033 6763 (Office factory)

mail: h.v.opstal@yellow-pallet.com                                                    mail: s.hoekstra@yellow-pallet.com

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