Ecuadorian banana sector wants consumer education about product value

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Ecuadorian banana sector wants consumer education about product value

A few days ago, a popular German grocer ran a special banana sale. The price was €0.88, a little less than a dollar, for 2.2 pounds of bananas. Ecuadorian Banana Exporters Association (AEBE) President Juan Antonio Hidalgo told that these types of sales can be detrimental to the sector.

“Promotions are done when contracts are already closed. We are not going to maintain the vicious circle of keeping prices lower. Consumer price has not increased in recent years and this is not reflected in the supply chain," he explained. “We need to encourage all supermarkets to use fair trade methodology".

According to Hidalgo, the sector is working on increasing the fruit’s value. This goal was agreed on during the 4th World Banana Forum, which was held in March.

Related articles: Banana trade: Paramilitary payments, trade tiffs, retail prices and TR4

The commitment, Hidalgo said, involves the full supply chain as they work on increasing operational and cost efficiency, "especially with the certifiers we work with in the European Union."

Hidalgo emphasized that consumers should be made aware of the efforts carried out by the industry to achieve certification in the European Union.

“At the end of the day, these strategies of using our product as a hook are precisely why other supermarket chains continue to do the same and we cannot stop this vicious circle that we have been in for years," he added.

With a decreasing grower price, Hidalgo insisted that consumers must be educated on the costs and efforts made by the Ecuadorian banana sector. He believes that is the only way to break from the status quo, and that big grocers play an important role in this.

"If we do not break (the cycle) from the last link, which is the consumer, educating them to understand the cost and effort, we will not be able to find those avenues of recognition," he said.

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