On the occasion of its participation in Fruit Attraction, Afruibana reaffirms its positions on fair price, shared responsibility and living wage6 October 2023
Paris, October 25, 2023 : The main European and Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) banana producer associations, including the Association of European Banana Producers (APEB), the Dominican Banana Producers Association (ADOBANANO), the Belize Banana Producers Association (BGA) and the African Banana and Other Fruit Producers Association (AFRUIBANA), have shared their common vision in a declaration, marking a major step forward in discussions on the banana sector within the European Union and between the European Union and the OACPS countries, particularly with regard to products from Latin America.
In this declaration, all the co-signatories review the difficulties encountered by the banana sector, such as the continuous growth since 2016 of Latin American volumes in Europe (at the expense of all other origins), the constant expansion of rules and standards (without appropriate accompaniment) or the ever-increasing gap between low price rises and significant increases in all cost factors, especially since the war in Ukraine. The declaration also refers to the absence of a regulatory framework offering a guarantee of “shared responsibility” with mass retailers, as defined by the World Banana Forum (where “shared responsibility” corresponds to an approach tending to distribute risk and value more equitably along supply chains, thus enabling farmers to share costs with buyers and be rewarded for their efforts to promote more sustainable farming practices).
Despite the many advances made in recent months and highlighted by the declaration, the presidents of the European banana producers’ and exporters’ associations and of the OACPS, ask the European Union to make a strong gesture to maintain the balance of intra- Community trade relations in this key sector :
Faced with these multiple challenges, the presidents of the European associations of banana producers and exporters and of the OACPS are calling on the European Union to make a strong gesture to maintain the balance of intra-Community trade relations in this key sector, and are therefore asking :
- the ring-fencing of the customs duty of €75 per tonne of bananas exported by Latin American producers, so as not to exacerbate the asymmetry that already exists on this market and thus preserve the existence of Community bananas and those from ACP countries on the Single Market ;
- the reindexation of this customs duty on the basis of 2010, to take account of the high inflation of recent years, which has undermined the effectiveness of this duty ;
- to respond to the call by the Belgian, Luxembourg, Dutch and German ministers for a living wage and income, to guarantee the implementation of wage standards in the banana sector that respect social dialogue and national legislation and are developed by consensus on the basis of the expertise and methodologies of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
« With this declaration, we invite the institutions of the European Union and its Member States to take the measure of the environmental and social transitions already underway in the EU banana and OACPS sectors and to support these transitions to ensure their success over time », stated Mr Joseph Owona Kono, President of Afruibana.