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Spain: Compensations against unfair competition requested for Canary bananas

The spokesperson for Coalición Canaria (CC) in the Spanish Congress of Deputies, Ana Oramas, has sent an urgent appeal to the Government in which she has urged for compensations to be granted for the transport of Canary bananas given the "unfair competition" of Latin American and African bananas.

Oramas reported that there has been "a drop in prices" in the banana market and has appealed to Royal Decree 362/2009, on compensations for the maritime and air transport of goods to or from the Canary Islands.

"The decree that regulated the compensations against high logistics costs when shipping to and from the Canary Islands established that as soon as prices fell, compensations had to be granted for the fruit's transport, and we believe that the circumstances are right for these compensations to be included in the 2018 budget," she said.

The Canary deputy denounced that "the viability of the sector's production is at risk" and stressed that its production is not that of a multinational. She explained that the Archipelago has a total of 8,500 producers and 9,000 cultivated hectares, and that the sector creates 7,500 direct and 5,500 indirect jobs, allowing also around 4,500 citizens to make some of their income from Canary bananas. She also stressed that each week three ships carrying 450 trucks transport 9 million tonnes of this fruit to the Iberian Peninsula.

"A very important environmental issue"
Furthermore, the deputy stressed that the production of Canary bananas is "a very important environmental issue," because it has no pests or diseases and banana plantations are not fumigated. "However, we have to compete against African and Latin American bananas, which are fumigated," she lamented.

In this regard, she also mentioned the greater "carbon footprint" left by the Latin American bananas imported to Europe, as the American continent is farther from Europe than the Canary Islands. "By eating Canary bananas, we are also helping the global environment," stated Oramas.

For her part, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, Isabel García Tejerina, has confirmed that, if the right conditions are met, the Government will certainly add bananas to the list of products receiving compensations against high logistics costs and any impact that may be derived from the trade agreements between the EU and third parties.


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