LatAm banana associations unite to reject EU's new MRL rules
Representatives of numerous Latin American banana associations recently met in Costa Rica to analyze the impacts of the EU's decision to lower maximum residue levels (MRLs).
Richard Salazar of Ecuadorian association Acorbanec told FreshFruitPortal.com: "The EU has unilaterally taken the decision to reduce maximum MRLs of numerous chemicals that are used to control pests and diseases on different crops, including plantains and bananas."
He explained that the situation was complicated, as a potential decline in production stemming from the new rules could have knock-on effects.
"If banana production is reduced, that would affect jobs and revenues for many countries and it would affect the economies," he said.
He added that other demanding markets, like Japan and the U.S., did not have such strict MRL regulations.
The meeting included representatives from multiple associations in Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize.
It let to the signing of a joint statement that was delivered to the respective embassies in Europe to highlight their concerns.
Salazar doesn't expect this will be an isolated meeting between the different banana-growing countries.
"We are just getting started with this, but the idea is to address other topics as well. These could include the industry's position toward supermarkets that continue to push down prices, and other business aspects too," he said.
"So this is the start of a relationship, a union of a Latin American bloc of banana exporters and producers."