The European banana producers based in the outermost regions (ORs) of the European Union have asked the European Commission to be treated in the same way as imports from other markets.
This has been one of the messages conveyed by the manager of the Association of Organizations of Banana Producers of the Canary Islands (Asprocan), Sergio Cáceres, in the Salón Gourmets, where the producers from these regions have a booth to promote "the logo of the Outermost Regions."
In his speech, he has asked the EU authorities "for all imported bananas to be subject to the same criteria" as those supplied by EU producers.
At the moment, they are worried about this situation, which, in their opinion, generates unfair competition, and they will soon publish a study in which they will try to prove it.
This report will, for example, highlight the differences between the active substances (phytosanitary) allowed to be present in imported bananas, compared to the European.
Moreover, there are also cases such as the arrival of products labeled as organic which "do not even meet the criteria required for conventional bananas in the EU."
Another example he gave was that of the arrival of bananas with a Fair Trade label, which can serve as a way to attract the consumer. However, he recalled that this isn't possible for EU productions, because the standards set by EU legislation stand above the conditions of what is considered fair trade.
The producers from the OR's are increasingly concerned, as imports "are growing non-stop" and tariff barriers continue to fall, he said.
For his part, the head of Communication of the Union of Banana Producers of Guadeloupe and Martinique (Ugpban), Karim Baggoe, pointed out how difficult it is to "sensitize" the members of the EC on these issues that concern the OR's.
"There are only three Member States (Spain, Portugal and France) with outermost regions, so the sensitivity is lower than it would be if there were more countries," he said.
In his speech, he argued for the need to impose higher tariffs for these imported products; "however, since 2010, those tariffs have done nothing but fall."
During the event, both have highlighted the importance of the campaign to publicize the OR's logo, which was created by the EU to improve the competitiveness of these regions.