The Association of Banana Producer Organizations of the Canary Islands (Asprocan) has issued a statement asking the Council of Agriculture to enforce one of the "crisis management" measures provided by the European Union: withdrawing from the market 10% of the supply intended for export next week. The goal is to prevent producers from accumulating too much debt, since the gap between prices at origin and retail sale of bananas in the Peninsula is generating losses for a good part of the production.
Last week, the sector carried out its first market withdrawal with the donation of more than 400,000 kilograms of bananas to Food Banks throughout Spain (the maximum volume that these charitable organizations could admit). The logistics costs were fully covered by Asprocan.
Banana prices at origin have been in a downward spiral since the end of last November as a result of the reduction of consumption during the Christmas season and the lower activity of wholesale operators in that period, reports Asprocan.
The statement also said that since the beginning of the year, Plátano de Canarias has exported more than 8 million kilos per week, which is the highest figure of the last 10 years for any week in January. However, this increase has been harmed by a slowdown in the sales channels, as consumer prices have not been reduced despite the decline in the prices at origin, which have already fallen below those of bananas from third countries, making the product unsustainable.
For the sector, there are several factors that are key to improving the situation in the production and marketing chain. The first one is the application of reasonable margins that reflect the higher quality and production costs of European bananas.
It is also requesting market variations at origin to be reasonably reflected in the retail sale price, with any changes of the former being transferred to the consumer within a maximum of two weeks.
The biggest problem right now is that while there's a 70% price difference between origin and destination in the case of imported bananas, for Canary bananas the difference is greater than 200% on average, warns Asprocan.
Source: Efe / lavanguardia.com