Ecuadorian banana exporter hit with US$1.8M fine

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Ecuadorian banana exporter hit with US$1.8M fine

Ecuador's Ministry of Agriculture has fined an exporter US$1.8 million for failing to pay the minimum US$5.50 for a box of bananas, website reported.

The company will also have its export permit witheld for a month. The tough sanctions follow allegations by two producers that the exporter was not playing ball.

Carlos Vélez

A further 24 exporters have received a total of US$19,200 in fines for failing to file their shipment plans on time.

Agriculture undersecretary Carlos Vélez, said with these tough sanctions the government was looking for producers to come forward if they noticed any irregularities over the minimum US$5.50 payment.

He added his department was updating a register of exporters, analyzing and verifying that outstanding bonds have been honored through the interbank payment system.

He said in addition to the present actions were 12 earlier ones currently being pursued.

Exporters argue the current default price of a box of fruit is too high and should be dropped to US$5.05, while producers claim exporters have been flouting the minimum price rules.

The story did not named the companies concerned.

Related stories: Ecuadorian govt steps in to end banana price impasse

Ecuador at loggerheads over minimum banan price

Photo: MAGAP

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