The European Commission rejected this Monday the proposal for the abolition of tariffs on imported fresh bananas for industrial use; a suspension that would have applied only to those bananas that, once they arrived in Europe, did not comply with the marketing standards and were destined for the industry.
The proposal was anonymously by a member country and, since it was made public, the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, the Association of Organizations of Banana Producers of the Canary Islands ( Asprocan), the Association of European Banana Producers (Apeb), and French authorities have worked together to showcase the risks that accepting this proposal would have for the European sector.
Both ministries and producer organizations argued before the European Commission that the acceptance of this tariff suspension would open a back door for the American banana to enter the European market without tariffs with the support of the community body.
Consequently, the European Commission, Spain, and France opposed the proposal presented in the framework of the negotiation of tariff suspensions for 2022, and the president of Tariff Affairs of the EU adopted the decision not to accept it.
This decision gives a little respite to the banana producers, grouped under the name of Platano de Canarias, who are fighting to reform the Food Chain Law that is already being processed in the Congress of Deputies. Their main objective is to include exceptions in the legal obligation that farmers receive remuneration equal to or greater than production costs. According to Asprocan, without this agreement up to 80% of production could be destroyed and the sector would have a minimum of 100 million euro in losses each year.