LatAm banana producers to ratify position against supermarkets as 2022 contract talks begin
Latin American banana industry representatives are to meet at an event in Ecuador this week to ratify their position against the "multiple aggressions and damages" that supermarkets are subjecting them to.
As part of the XVIII International Banana Convention 2021, to be held from 27 to 29 October in the city of Guayaquil, groups from Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica will get together amid soaring production costs and stagnant prices.
As negotiation begin for the 2022 contract, they allege that there is a lack of fair compensation and a true Shared Responsibility on the part of supermarkets of the European Union, United States and United Kingdom.
"Negotiations began this October with supermarket chains to buy the bananas they will sell on their shelves in 2022. These negotiations are taking place in a global context of spiralling inflationary prices that affect production costs but are not reflected in the purchase price," a release from the Banana Cluster said.
"All the supplies needed to ensure that bananas reach the shelves of European and North American consumers have become more expensive. However, the supermarkets, led by the German supermarket ALDI, are unwilling to compensate for this increase in costs, something that seriously harms banana producers and exporters who are forced to bear the full cost increase."
They said that the giant German budget supermarket chain uses the excuse of offering the "cheapest bananas on the market", setting the price by which the rest of the supermarkets will be guided and none of them will be willing to pay more.
Latin American banana producers receive "derisory offers" per box of bananas, which have not risen in price for more than two decades unlike other fruits, because supermarkets like ALDI take advantage of the intrinsic nature of the sector, the Cluster alleged.
"A sector of small and medium-sized producers, of family economies and of crucial importance for rural communities in Latin American countries that accept the harsh conditions because they cannot negotiate," it said.
"This type of business, which has been adapting to changing and increasingly demanding environmental legislation for years, now sees its efforts undervalued.
"Therefore, the Latin American banana export sector calls for Shared Responsibility between all actors in the supply chain —from the producer to the final consumer via supermarkets and other intermediaries— which becomes a first and efficient mechanism to ensure the sustainability of the global banana industry."