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Ecuadorian president threatens banana export nationalizationPresident Rafael Correa stated that he will nationalize exporting companies that sell fruit without a contract and those that "extort producers", avoiding the payment of the official price for a box of banana (US$5,50). The guild of banana growers says that there's no need for the action, as more controls would be too much.
In the weekly government meeting on Saturday, Correa pointed out that banana producers are exploited by several exporters, that don't pay the official price and even use "tricks" to take money from growers, by offering "training."
He said that "exporters are being pressured, denounced and it will end. If they retaliate against producers I will nationalize their companies, and I will not shake in fear for it."
Eduardo Ledesma, president of the Association of Banana Exporters, explained that "as an association we agree that all laws and regulations must be observed, contracts must be signed with producers and controls must be carried out so there's no selling without contracts". Although, he added that " first we have to finish the census on farms, to get the real facts of production, and then follow the law, but there's no need to nationalize".
According to data from this guild, there are 300 banana exporting companies in the country, from those 34 are registered to the association and their exports represent 60% of the total. Of these affiliates, 30 are national and 3 depend on external companies (transnational).
Publication date: 2/7/2012
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