The global platano value chain shows a united front at a “historic moment”

“Key stakeholders of the global banana value chain show a united front in Madrid and reaffirm their commitment to shared responsibility in historic moment for the industry”.
cadena mundial plátano fruit attraction

Gathered at a conference held during the international flagship fruit industry event Fruit Attraction in Madrid, prominent political and economic stakeholders including Latin American Ambassadors, representatives of the banana industry, European retailers, and a member of the European Commission’s Agriculture Cabinet reiterated their commitment to work together in further embedding the critical concept of shared responsibility in the global banana value chain.

As Andreas Schneider, member of the cabinet of the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development highlighted: “Achieving high-quality, nutritious food to sustain food security is at the heart of the European’s Farm to Fork strategy. However, the sustainability of our food systems cannot be achieved by the European Union alone. The European Union has every interest to work ever closer with Latin American countries on the Farm to Fork actions and foster a strong dialogue between all stakeholders. Together, we can achieve great rewards in areas like research and innovation”.

Under the umbrella of the World Banana Forum (an FAO-affiliated platform), the stakeholders agreed that further collaboration with all stakeholders was now much needed to achieve tangible results and improve the sustainability of the industry.

José Antonio Hidalgo, Coordinator of the Ecuadorian Banana Cluster and Executive Director of AEBE, commenting on the relationships with European retailers, said: “We have seen prominent European retailers make promising declarations following the introduction of the concept of shared responsibility earlier this year. However, we believe it is time for the European retailer industry to act on it and translate these commitments into concrete steps so we can all progress further towards greater sustainability, not only for our producers, and for the local communities that depend on the banana sector, but also our European consumers”.

The enforcement of a “fair price” was addressed as an efficient way to sustain greater innovation and meet minimum living standards in the plantations although this is yet to be executed by European retailers.

Marike de Peña, former Vice Chair of the Fairtrade International Board, further commented: “Proven methodologies, such as the Fair-Trade methodology, already help enforce the fair price threshold. The banana sector is strongly committed to tackling environmental, social, and economic challenges. But what we need, from the other side of the table, is a strong sign of commitment that there will be an agreement – and the enforcement – for a strong fair price policy across the board”.

This LATAM TaskForce conference follows the publication of a joint declaration on shared responsibility earlier this year, calling all stakeholders for further cooperation and the respect of fair price methodologies to meet the new sustainability standards introduced by the European Commission.

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