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Mexican banana producers want to lower the export tariff to Europe
The National Council of Plantain Producers said that they would seek, through the Ministry of Economy (SE), to reduce the tariff on banana exports to the European Union to have the same advantages as other producing countries.
The president of the organization, Adrian Prats Leal, said European importers had to pay about 40 cents more per box of Mexican bananas than for the same box from Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, or Costa Rica.
In an interview with Notimex, he said that the head of the SE, Ildefonso Guajardo, was committed to support them to decrease that tariff in the negotiations of a free trade agreement with Europe.
He also said that they had spoken about the issue with the federal official on three occasions and they would continue to insist on the issue in a meeting they have tomorrow with the National Agricultural Council.
"We want to have a level playing field so we can compete on equal terms with other producing countries," said the president of the Plantain Product System.
Despite the tariff, he said, the international markets look for Mexican bananas and importers are happy with the quality of the fruit.
The bananas produced in Tabasco, Chiapas, Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and part of Veracruz, have conquered the US market and different markets in Europe and in Asia, such as Japan, Korea, Germany, Holland, Ukraine, Russia, Belgium, Turkey, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Albania, Montenegro, Singapore, and New Zealand.
In addition, he said, Chinese and Mexican producers, buyers and authorities have visited each other to export bananas to China.
He said that China was working on a phytosanitary protocol with the support of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), and that they expected it would be ready this year, so they could begin shipments.
He also said that the country's banana sector directly employed about 70 thousand people and another 150 thousand people indirectly during the 52 weeks of the year to produce some 2 million tons, a labor force that no other crop needs in the country.
Publication date: 6/6/2017
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