Banana producers and exporters from Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, representing 60% of the global banana production, issued a statement expressing their position on the cost increases in the banana value chain.
The Banana Cluster stated that “during the course of this year the banana industry in the region has experienced significant cost increases due to the increase in prices of essential inputs such as fertilizers by 35-45%, cardboard by 30%, plastic by 45%”.
They indicated that “the loss of production generated by the new maximum residue limits of the destination markets that do not observe the needs and reality of production in the region, the application of standards imposed by an over-certified market, the adoption of biosecurity measures to prevent FOC R4T, the implementation of security measures to prevent the contamination of containers with illicit substances and, also, the generalized increase in the cost of maritime freight by up to 62% due to the global shortage of containers, the structuring of operational alliances between shipping lines and the consolidation of this sector”.
In this regard, they pointed out that these costs have a direct and negative impact on the economic sustainability and competitiveness of the banana industry, which, according to them, “has suffered incalculable damage due to the increasing occurrence of natural phenomena in the region and has not been unaffected by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and must implement all necessary measures to safeguard global food security and protect the health of agricultural workers.
In addition to the above, the price of bananas has suffered in 2021 the most catastrophic decrease in the last 10 years, reaching 10 euros per 18.5 kilos as Denis Loeillet, CIRAD researcher, refers to Reefertrends in the article published on September 1, 2021, they indicated.
Due to the above, they make a call to the industry, remarking that “the subsistence and future of the banana industry, on which more than 808,000 families in Latin America depend directly, requires that these externalities are not only borne by the product-exporting countries, which are already willing to assume all the care of the plantations, responsibilities and other sacrifices necessary to bring bananas to every corner of the world, but that the entire value chain is involved, especially at the other end of it”.
They stated that “it is necessary that, within the framework of the concept of shared responsibility, these crucial aspects be discussed to ensure the commitment of all actors to the sustainability of the global banana industry”.
This comes after announcements of lower prices set by supermarket chains for bananas.