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Proposals to face the Farm to Fork strategy

International Workshop of Banana Producers

The Association of European Banana Producers, the Producers of Colombia (AUGURA and ASBAMA), Ecuador (AEBE and ACORBANEC) and Guatemala (APIB), came together at the Brussels Europe Press Club to highlight the consequences of the European Farm to Fork strategy on farmers.

 

The European Green Deal has led to a change in the agricultural system and resulted in higher production costs. The banana producers who supply the European banana consumption have a lot in common, but the geographical, economic, social, legal and political distinctions between them have led them to make the following proposals to deal with the Farm to Fork strategy:

• Within the concept of shared responsibility, it is essential to promote a fair price for bananas, taking into account parameters and a methodology that recognize the exogenous impacts and sustainability efforts in the supply chain. Banana producers ask that the trend to offer the cheapest fruit in the world be reversed, as it is indeed incompatible with sustainability and fair wage policies. 

• The European institutions are invited to support the current research on new varieties resistant to FOC TR4 and Black Sigatoka, and to help the banana producers that are committed to forming an alliance to fight these two diseases. 

• It is also necessary to promote a security program against the contamination of containers by narcotics, as well as the control of drug trafficking in consumer countries. 

“The price trend [...] that has been maintained by the European distribution system is not consistent with the demand policies for fair remuneration, and it does not allow us to maintain a green policy or implement the Farm to Fork strategy,” explains Juan José Pons, coordinator of the Ecuadorian banana cluster, in his reading of the declaration.

“This is a call from the banana industry to the community in general. It is a call from our work, our social and environmental sustainability, in order to continue to protect each of our economies, regions, where workers are all doing their best to provide bananas, the best product we offer to the European Union. It is really a call for the recognition of a fair price that is necessary for our product,” explains Emerson Aguirre of the Association of Colombian Banana Producers (AUGURA).

“We want [...] to urge the entire banana value chain, all the way to the consumer, to realize that it makes no sense today for bananas traveling thousands of kilometers to be sold at a lower price than the more local fruit,” explains Julio Mérida of the Association of Independent Banana Producers of Guatemala (APIB).

“With the current production costs and the conditions in which we must produce in order to comply with the strict European regulations, our bananas are the most expensive in the world to produce. We are therefore constantly worried about the valuation of our production,” explains Eric de Lucy, president of UGPBAN and representative of the Association of European Banana Producers (APEB).


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