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Banana industry members meet to highlight key concerns

At Fruit Attraction, the fruit and vegetable fair held in Madrid, banana producers and exporters from Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica (who represent 60 percent of the global banana production) met. Together they came to several conclusions including:

  • There’s pressure from banana buyers of the large supermarket chains to reduce the price of the fruit and as negotiations continue, being ignored are the many difficulties the agribusiness faces at the regional level.
  • In 2021, the banana industry has experienced significant cost increases due to rising prices of key inputs such as fertilizers, cardboard and plastic.
  • New Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) in the target markets have led to production losses. In addition, there is also the application of standards imposed by an over-regulated market.
  • Producers have adopted strict biosecurity measures in the face of the pandemic to protect global food security and the health of agricultural workers. Protocols have been implemented to prevent the Fusarium Race 4 Tropical fungus, resulting in additional costs not recognized on the international market.
  • Exporters are forced to implement additional security measures to prevent the contamination of containers with illicit substances.
  • Natural phenomena in the region also have a direct and negative impact on the sustainability and competitiveness of the banana industry.
  • Diverging from the global reality, the price of bananas has suffered the most catastrophic decrease in 2021 in the last 10 years, reaching a value of 10 euros per
    18.5 kilos.

The continuity and future of the banana industry, on which more than 808,000 families in Latin America directly depend, requires that these international problems are not only carried by the producing and exporting countries. For a long period of time, they have assumed all the care and responsibility for the plantations. It is necessary to involve the entire value chain and, within the framework of shared responsibility, to discuss these crucial aspects to ensure the commitment of all actors to the sustainability of the global banana industry.

For more information:
Juan José Pons
Banana Cluster Ecuador  

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