Ecuadorian banana firms under investigation
The companies - which represent about 14% of the country's legally established banana businesses - will need to explain to the Ministry of Agriculture, and Fisheries why they did not purchase the bananas through the Interbank Payment System (SPI) in week 23.
Agricultural director for the El Oro province Jaime Serrano, told the website more than 20 companies negotiated spot pricing below Ecuador's official price of US$5.50 per box or acted in an extracontractual way, which went against the recently amended Production Code.
Serrano cited examples such as Firesky S.A. and Golden Fruit S.A., whose fruit purchase values were US$434,478 and US$27,373 respectively, but through SPI the companies only claimed US$161,610 and US$0 respectively, the story reported.
The Ministry allowed the concerned companies 72 hours to form their defense arguments, while a failure to do so would lead to 'significant financial penalties', the story reported.
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Photo: Think Progress