Banana producers and exporters that ship bananas through Puerto Bolivar announced they would conduct a peaceful march on November 15. That day producers won't be cutting any fruit and exporters will make no shipments.
The productive guilds that met yesterday at the Oro Hotel decided to take this measure to obtain an official statement from the Government and the review of the port concession in favor of the Turkish company Yilport.
The meeting involved leaders of the Chamber of banana producers, the Association of Banana producers from El Oro, the Chamber of Agriculture of II Zone, the Agricultural Center of Machala, the delegates of the Banana Exporters Association of Ecuador (AEBE), and the Association of exporters and marketers.
Segundo Solano, the president of the Association of Banana Producers from El Oro, said that, despite their attempts, there had been no rapprochement with the Executive. "We disagree with the 13 to 17 cents tariff increase approved by the Port Authority to 27 services that, according to estimates, would increase the price of a box of fruit in bulk by 24 and up to 28 cents," he said.
Meanwhile, Jorge Serrano, the chairman of this association, said that the Ecuadorian banana had lost competitiveness to the banana from Central America and Colombia. Exporters ship out 1.5 million boxes of banana, i.e. 30% of the national production, through the port of Puerto Bolivar each week.
The protest will start at the monument of Bolivar Madero Vargas, in the road between Machala and Puerto Bolivar, and head to the port.