Banana producers from Europe, Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala have called for a 'living price' on bananas, taking into account higher production costs and the framework of the EU Farm To Fork strategy.
At a meeting at the Brussels Europe Press Club, producer groups have discussed on a number of proposals aimed at ensuring a fair price is paid to producers consistent with the policies of sustainability and living wage.
This includes promotion, under the concept of shared responsibility, of a living price for bananas, taking into account parameters and methodology that recognise exogenous impacts and sustainability efforts in the supply chain.
'In this sense, banana farmers demand that the trend of low prices be reversed,' the groups said in a statement.
Reversing The Price Trend
" We must reverse the price trend [...] that has been maintained by the European distribution system and that is not consistent with the policies of demands that allow us to continue paying a living wage, nor maintain the green policy, nor the farm-to-table strategy," commented Juan José Pons, Coordinator of the Banana Cluster of Ecuador in his reading of the declaration.
In addition, producers are committed to form an alliance for the management of international resources to combat FOC R4T and Black Sigatoka, fungal infections that are impacting banana plantations.
The groups have also endorsed a security agenda targeting narcotics transport in containers, as well as the control of drug trafficking in consumer countries.
"This is a call we make from the banana industry to the community in general, it is a call from our labour, social, and environmental sustainability, in order to continue protecting each of the economies, regions, where each of the workers is doing their best to provide the best product that we bring to the European Union, the banana," said Emerson Aguirre of the Association of Colombian Banana Growers (AUGURA).
"This is truly a call for recognition of the decent price that is necessary for our product."
Elsewhere, Eric de Lucy, President of UGPBAN and representative of the Association of European Banana Producers (APEB) added that all in the sector are "constantly concerned about getting more value from our production."