The banana production of the outermost regions (OR's) of the European Union (EU) helps sustain more than 30,000 direct and indirect jobs, with a production of around 700,000 tons, and is essential to protect the rural and social balance of these territories.
Canary bananas, which have a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), are one of those productions and its contribution to the economy of the islands is relevant, since it sustains 12,000 direct and more than 3,000 indirect jobs. Moreover, there are about 9,000 producers, according to sources within the sector.
The banana production in Guadeloupe and Martinique relies on the work of 600 growers, with 6,000 direct and 4,000 indirect workers. Meanwhile, in Madeira, the crop allows 2,800 producers to make a living and sustains 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. The current supply, however, is insufficient to cover the European market's demand, which amounts to 6.5 million tons, according to the same sources.
In their opinion, the agricultural production of the OR's, including all their crops, makes a key contribution to the economy and the environment of regions that are "strongly affected by structural unemployment." Also, they stressed that "some of the agricultural productions" of these regions are backed by a strong enough organization and structure to sell in the European market.
Difficult to be competitive
Producers, however, find it "difficult" to be competitive because they comply with the "most demanding" social and environmental standards, paying for the corresponding costs.
These sources consider it "essential" for the competition to be "loyal" and for the public authorities "to continue protecting these productions, given the "additional guarantees" that they contribute in the socioeconomic and environmental field.
Therefore, one of the objectives is to publicize the logos linked to the OR's, which "serve to recognize" how these regions "contribute to diversifying the supply of top quality agricultural products."