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					WEST EUROPEAN PREPARATORY SEMINAR

FOR THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL BANANA CONFERENCE


London, United Kingdom - February 10th– 11th 2005

Organised by Banana Link




                                  REPORT            OF THE MEETING




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                  1
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
                              Programme of the West European Preparatory Seminar
                               London, United Kingdom, February 10th – 11 th 2005

Thursday 10th

9.15              Opening speech by David Jones,Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK
                  Government

9.15              Presentations on the world banana econom y, 1998-2005:
                  “A race to the bottom?”
                  Anne-Claire Chambron, EUROBAN; Alistair Smith, Banana Link
                                  - macro-economic trends
                                  - corporate developments
                                  - prices and markets

                  Questions and debate

10.45             Refreshment break

11.10             Perspectives on the banana econom y from plantation workers and small farmers

                  The workers‟ perspective: Gilberth Bermudez and Selfa Sandoval, Latin American Coordination of
                  Banana Workers‟ Unions (COLSIBA); Patrick Vewessee, Fako Agricultural Workers‟ Union,
                  Cameroon

                  The small farmers‟ perspective: Wilberforce Emanuel, WINFA (Association if Caribbean
                  Farmers); Koronado Apuzen, Farmcoop/FEDCO (workers‟ cooperative federation), Philippines

                  Open debate with panel of above speakers

13.00             Buffet lunch

14.00             An introduction to the objectives of the International Banana Conference

14.10             The environmental and health effects of industrial banana production
                  Gilberth Bermudez, Latin American Coordination of Banana Workers‟ Unions (COLSIBA)

14.50             Workshops Session 1 (choose one):

                  What is a „fair price‟ and what is a „living wage‟?
                  Tackling overproduction and price instability – what instruments could we use ?

16.10             Refreshment break

16.30              Plenary feedback and debate

17.30             Close




Friday 11th

09.00             Panel on EU import regime with representatives of producer governments
                  Lionel Hubbard, Newcastle University
                  Ambassador Edwin Laurent, Special Banana Envoy for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean
                  States

10.30             Refreshment break

10.45             Workshops Session 2 (choose one):




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                        2
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
                  How could the EU regime support sustainable development?
                  Tackling overproduction and price instability – what instruments could we use?

12.15             Plenary and closing panel debate with floor

13.00             Close




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                   3
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
                                            Report : list of presentations

1)    Presentations on the world banana economy, 1998-2005: “A race to the bottom?”
     Anne-Claire Chambron, EUROBAN

2)    Company moves *
     Alistair Smith – Banana Link

3)    The Workers‟perspective: BANAN A WORKER‟S PERSPECTIVE in Cameroon
     Patrick Vewessee - FAWU

4)    The Workers‟perspective : THE PLIGHT, THE STRUGGLE AND THE PERSPECTIVE OF BAN ANA FARMERS'
      COOPERATIVES IN THE PHILIPPINES
     Koronado b . Apuzen – Farmcoop

5)    An introduction to the objectives of the International Banana Conference*
     Alistair Smith – Banana Link

6)    The environmental and health effects of industrial banana production*
     Gilb erth Bermudez, Latin American Coordination of Banana Workers’ Unions (COLSIBA)

7)    Workshop 1 : Fair Trade Minimum Price*
     Harriet Lamb (Fairtrade Foundation)

8) Report on WORKSHOPS Session 1

9) Report on WORKSHOPS Session 2


* b ased on speakers’powerpoint presentation




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                  4
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
1.    Presentations on the world banana econom y, 1998-2005: “A race to the bottom?”
     Anne-Claire Chambron, EUROBAN


As my colleague, Pascal Liu from the FAO cannot be with us today, I have been asked to present the main findings
from the FAO document „The World Banana Economy 1985-2002‟ updated with statistics for 2003 and 2004 from
CIRAD in France, Sopisco in Ecuador and national producer groups.

    In the first part I will summarize for those of you who are new to the sector current p atterns of production and
     trade.
    In a second part, we will look at the evolution of the different markets for the past 5 -10 years and at the
     consequences that the shift in production areas and the evolution of prices have had on producer countries.
    In a third part I will briefly look at the changes in import policies, their impact on operators, prices and
     perspectives for the sector

You probably won‟t have time to note down all the figures and data I am going to give, but those of you who are
interested at the end to get those figures, can get them from the FAO document (www.fao.org).


I CURRENT PRODUCTION AND TRADE PATTERNS

1.1. Production and exports                                                                Slide 1
World production in bananas consists of plantain bananas and export varieties (Gros Michel, and Cavendish). Most of
them are consumed locally. Only 17% enter world trade and since the 70s export bananas consist almost exclusively
in one variety „Cavendish‟, introduced in the 70s for its resistance to pest and diseases.
FAO report focuses on bananas for export.

The world‟s leading producer of Cavendish bananas is India, followed by Ecuador, China, Colombia and Costa Rica.

The world‟s leading exporters of Cavendish bananas are (in million tonnes)                 Slide 2
Ecuador             4.2                       Panamá                      0.4
Costa Rica          1.8                       Brazil                      0.2
Colombia            1.6                       Cameroon                    0.23
Philippines         1.4                       Ivory Coast                 0.2
Guatemala           1.0                       Windward Islands            0.1
Honduras            0.5                       Dominican Rep.              0.1


Production in the EU include s:
        -     Canaries:     407,000 (94: 321,000)
        -     Martinique    263,000 (94: 151,000)
        -     Guadeloupe    95,000 (94: 82,000)
        -     Madeira:      21,000 tonnes (25 in 94)
        -     Greece:       2400 tonnes (3000 in 94)
        -     Total 2002:   790,000 tonnes



Production system s for export bananas are industrial, input intensive and techologically
sophi sti cated.
        -      About 80% of the world exports are produced on plantations between 100 and 4,000 ha. This type of
              production concerns Latin America, West Africa and the Philippines
        -      Less than 10% of world exports are produced on small scale plantations (between 0.1 and 10 ha.) and
              harvested by hand by workers consisting usually of the family members (Countries with small producers
              include the Windward Islands and Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Colombi a and the
              Philiippines)
        -     Production in the Canary Islands, Madeira, Guadeloupe and Martinique also comes mostly from small
              producers (but it is not exported onto world markets)



West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                             5
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
Land yields in large commercial plantations can be 6 times higher than that obtained in small-
scale farms 60mT/ha compared with 5 in the WI.   Slide 3

FAO estimates that world banana production has increased by 30% over the 90s mainly as a result of rising banana
production for exports. From 85 to 2000 areas under banana cultivation were expanded from 3.1 mio ha to over 4
mio. At the same time, average yield increased from 13 to 16 to per ha. Unlike the precedent period, the increase is
not so much due to technological improvements. But to an increase in yields and the expansion of th e areas under
cultivation. In CR for instance area under cultivation increased from 20 to 50,000 ha.                   Slide 4

Exports increased in all regions, but the strongest growth was observed in Latin America and in Africa. In both
regions, exports doubled. Their respective share in total exports increased from 78-80% and 3-4% respectively. At
the expense of the Far East (their share of world market fell from 14 -13%) and the Eastern Caribbean (4-3%). The
Philippines have known a strong growth since 1992.

The expansion and intensification of production in large plantations at the expense of tropical forests gave rise to a
series of environmental problems and had a high costs on the health and working environement of workers in the
plantations

1.2. Trade and consumption                                                           Slide 5
The main importers in 2000-2002 were:
       -   The US and Canada 4.5 millions tonnes
       -   EU15                  3.2 (plus own production of 0.8 = 4.077 (Germany 1st, Britain 2 nd)
       -    EU 25                    4.66 (10 new members = 6-640 000 tonnes; Poland 0.3))
       -    Japan                    0.97
       -    Russia (ex USSR)         0.6
       -    Near East                0.72
       -    China                    0.5
       -    Latin America            0.5 (Argentina: 0.2)
Citizens of the EU eat on average 10.8 kg/hab

In the US, consumption is estimated at +/- 13kg/hab.

In contrast, Russian eat on average 3 kg per person and per year, Chinese people 3.5 kg.


1.3. Operators
The main banana companies in 2002 were
       -   Dole Food Co                                26% US
       -    Chiquita Brands                            25% US
       -    Fresh Del Monte                            16% US
       -    Exportadora Noboa                          11% Ecuador
       -    Fyffes                                     7-8% EU
       -    These 5 companies control 86% of world trade in bananas

The banana sector is highly concentrated and companies are vertically integrated in the chain (i.e. they control the
means of production, transport and imports as well as ripening facilities). A comparison with the poorest countries on
the planet give an idea of their actual revenue. The combined ACP export earnings from bananas are only around
10% of Chiquita's total sale, and only 4% of the three banana companies‟ sales taken together.

1.4. Benefits
Prices paid to producers vary between $2/box (of 18.14 kg) to $8 or 9, but there are huge differences depending on
the region and type of production (intensive or small scale, conventional or organic)

Total sale value of producing countries (expressed in fob prices) can be roughly estimated to aprox. US$ 4.5 billions

While the total value of sales at consumer level is = aprox. US$15 billions




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                             6
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
Banana trade cannot be qualified as fair: workers‟ receive about 0.015% of the final price. About 10 -12% at the most
remain in the producing country. While the rest is divided between tariff duty (5% in the EU); ripening and transporting
(17%) and retail margins (35-40%) Bananas are „gold‟ for our supermarkets.



II Evolution between 1985 and 2002

Not all countries within each region performed similarly. In Latin America, Ecuadorian exports and shipments surged
between 88 and 97, while the growth was a lot more moderate in Costa Rica and Colombia; exports from Panama
and Honduras decreased over the same period. In the Caribbean after an initial rise for all countries in the late 80s,
exports fell in the Windward Islands and Jamaica while the Dominican Rep has become the largest exporter of
bananas in the Caribbean.

2.1. Latin America                                                                                 Slide 6

Ecuador : Much of the current oversupply can be traced to Ecuador, the world ‟s largest banana exporter. Exports
expanded from 1 to 3.6 million tonnes between 85 and 2000. Its share of world market increased from 18% in the 80s
to 35% today. In 1997, its peak year, exported 4,4 mio tons.

The industry employs about 380.000 people directly and indirectly.
Production in Ecuador is mixed: there are still some small producers but disappearing gradually to give way to larger
plantations. In 2000, 90% of the 150,000 ha under cultivation belonged to medium sized farm between 10 -50 ha.
5000 producers were registered

Unlike other Latin American banana-exporting countries, Ecuador‟s banana exports are not controlled by
transnationals companies; two Ecuadorian companies, Grupo Noboa and Rey Ban Corp., are the first and third
largest banana exporters, respectively, and together account for about one third of Ecuador‟s banana exports. That‟s
not to say that the US-based transnationals don‟t participate; Dole and Del Monte have subsidiaries there, accounting
for respectively about 19 and 6.6% of Ecuadorian exports. Chiquita has steadily increased its purchases from Rey
Ban Corp. and another company, Brundicorp.

Since 97, Ecuador has largely contributed to what we call the race to the bottom.

   The Ecuadorian export market can be considered as an oligopoly with a few intermediaries buying fruit from a
    large number of weakly organised small farms. The government set a minimum price in 1999, which is not
    always respected (this price fell from 4.20 $/box in 96, to 2.20 in 99 and 3.2 presently).
   Whereas banana production in Central America, Panama and Colombia is often unionized, less than 1% of
    Ecuador‟s banana workers belong to unions. Wages for Ecuadorian banana workers are considerably lower than
    those of unionized banana workers elsewhere, and social benefits are almost entirely absent. Workers reported
    earnings in 2000 as low as US$56.00/month (compared to 500 US$ in Panama, 200 and 300 in Costa Rica and
    Colombia and $150-200 in Honduras)

FAO sees no end to Ecuador‟s expansion: the area planted for exports have continued to increase at a rate of 2.4%
per year after 99 - and this despite the decline in export values of 4% per annum and the scale of plantations is still
lower than in neighbouring countries. This combined with very low labour costs suggest that further potential for
growth exists.(if Black Sigatoka can be kept under control).

Costa Rica
After a remarkable growth in the period 85-95 due to a large rehabilitation and expansion programme, exports of
Costa Rica have known a slow down due to depressed world prices and black Sigatoka infestation.
In the late 90s, the main exporting companies are Cobal (Chiquita), Bandeco (Del Monte) and Standard Fruit and Co.
(Dole) which together control over 80% of CR exports

By the end of the 1990s the situation was relatively bright: the banana industry was employing 96,000 workers
directly and indirectly. Salaries were about twice the national wage and workers received other benefits such as
housing water sanitation and electricity. Women were stron gly represented (well over 30%) providing a second
household income and bananas had become the second export earner just after textiles) generating in 2001 almost
500 million US$ in export revenue.

In recent years, however, the situation has changed quite dramatically due to the increasing competition of Ecuador
and countries with low labour costs. The FAO study ends up the case of Costa Rica with a sentence saying that the


West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                               7
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
future of the banana industry is uncertain and will depend on its ability to either take advantage of its higher
environmental standards to target high income markets, or paradoxally to lower its labour costs to become more
competitive.

The second option has become true: multinational companies have withdrawn from production, contracting national
producer groups instead. 60 plantations have been closed down (out of 200) and unions have been under severe
attacks. Workers‟ agreements are being ended by laying off all the workers and re -employing them later on short term
contracts with little or no benefits at all. My colleagues of COLSIBA will tell you more about this later.

As for wages, in a study1 carried out in mid-November 2004 by ASEPROLA (an independent Central American NGO
based in San José, Costa Rica) at one of BANDECO‟s plantations, interviews revealed that, if the hours worked are
taken into account, then employees are barely earning the legal minimum wage. And a “living wage” was considered
to be at least 50% above what was being earned per fortnight. (living wage include chil dren‟s education, rent, better
food and clothing).

Colombia
Over 90% of the estimated 1.9 million tonnes of Cavendish bananas produced in 2000 in Colombia were exported.
Banana plantations occupy approx. 60,000 ha. About 16% of this surface is planted of banana criollo grown for the
domestic market. Production is concentrated in Antioquia and Magadalena which are conflict areas

Area under cultivation have increased until 94 after which the industry has entered a phase of decline. The evolution
of production throughout the 90s was marked by the violence returning to the province of Uraba and crop diseases in
Magdalena.

Colombia is part of the group of producer countries with high labour costs. There is a national collective bargaining
agreement between the industry and the trade union SITRAINAGRO co vering 340 plantations in Uraba and well
established environmental and social improvement plans (Banatura). This has given the Colombian industry a
stability which is the envy of most of its major competitors.

Prospects however are similar to those of CR: the fact that Chiquita has recently sold its Banadex subsidiary to
Banacol could be the first sign of a „race to the bottom‟.

Guatemala, Honduras and Panama                                                     Slide 7
Production has been decreasing or s tagnating between 85 and 2000 in these three countries which have been
strongly affected by adverse wheather conditions and Sigatoka. Exports recovered after 2000 in Guatemala and
Honduras

Guatemala
Guatemala has had the most stable area planted of all La tin American banana exporting countries. Exports have
increased in the 90s but the outlook for future expansion is mixed. More recently, the shift of the area planted to
highly productive land on the Southern Pacific coast with easy access to the West coas t of North America
accelerated. This area is called the „banana paradise‟ for its lack of labour rights regulation and trade union
organisations.

Honduras:
Honduras has an asphyxiated banana industry mainly due to the unsustainable prices paid by the TNCs. Banana
production and exports have been declining at the rate of 4.5% per annum since 85. Hurricane Mitch in 98 destroyed
70% of the crop. It was followed by an intensive programme of replanting and exports are now back to pre -Mitch
level. Multinationals withdrew from production after Hur. Mitch. Presently, there are 19 surviving national producers
highly indebted who sell to Chiquita and Dole.

Both countries were among the group with the highest amount of organised workers. From the beginning of 1993 to
the end of 2004, more than 8.000 unionised workers were made redundant as a result of closures, large -scale
dismissals and ill health. And this despite eager response from trade unions to companies‟ demands to lower both
labour and social conditions.

Panama:




1
 Association of Labour Pro motion Serv ices, ASEP ROLA, “ The real wage situation of male and female workers in
11 banana plantations in Costa Rica, in comparison with a ‘sustainable living wage’ ”, San José, 19/11/2004

West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                             8
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
Panama used to be one of the leading banana exporters in the world but production has decreased rapidly in the 90s.
Reasons are rising production costs, industrial disputes and black Sigatoka. Chiquita sold its plantations on the
Pacific Cost recently. They now contract independent plantations which are strongly affected by the lower prices.

Nicaragua: exports from Nicaragua have consistantly fallen in the last three decades at a rate of 3.7% per year from
130,000 t in the 70s to 44,000 t. in 2000. Exports declined rapidly after Standard Fruit (Dole) left the country in 1982.

Pulling production out of Nicaragua has doomed this country into a severe social crisis. Nicaragua depended on
bananas not only as a source of labour, but also for trade from domestic sales. Now it feeds other banana-producing
regions with migrant workers.

A word about Peru and Brazil on the increase
Brazil: is rapidly becoming a noticeable exporter. Its banana exports in 2002 were over 220,000 tonnes, to compare
with 72,000 t in 2000. Multinational companies are massively investing in Brazil where costs of production are as low
as Ecuador.
Del Monte has developed 14 plantations in the Norde Este (3,000 ha.) which represent about 53,000 tonnes
exported.
Brazil producer prices 2002 were 2.8 US$ per box to compare with 3.4 in Ecuador at the same time

Peru: 19,000 t of organic bananas were exported in 2002.
A large plantation and 5,000 small farmers of less than 1 ha. selling partly to Chiquita and partly to the organic and
fairtrade markets of Europe.

2.2 South East Asia                                                                                 Slide 8

The Philippines became the world‟s second biggest exporter of banana in 2004
Production: 5.5 mio tonnes; Exports are on the increase with 1.4 mio tonnes in 2002.
The Philippines export to Japan (66%), China (12%), Republic of Korea (7%), Taiwan Province of China (6%) and
United Arab Emirates (6%). Saudi Arabia and Iran are also growing markets for Philippine bananas.
Production is predominantly small scale and some 6 million households re ly on them for part of their income. Only a
relatively small percentage of the total land planted to bananas is intended for export markets, and this is cultivated
with high input/output technologies.
While the average annual land yield for the country is 9.4 t/ha, big plantations produce about 40 t/ha.
Small scale farmers find it difficult to produce and deliver a product for export mainly because of the low prices and
difficult access to inputs and credit.
Bananas started to be exported in the late 1960s when transnational companies arrived looking for low production
and low transport costs near Japan.
Its proximity to China suggests a favourable outlook, but China is rapidly increasing its domestic production of
bananas and may become a net exporter in the medium term. The Philippines is looking towards expansion in
Australia and Europe.

2.3. The Caribbean                                                                                  Slide 9

Bananas are, together with sugar and rum, the most important agricultural export product of the Windward Islands
(St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent), Jamaica, Belize, the Dominican Republic and Suriname.
In the WI, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic production is mostly small -scale, relying heavily on family labour.
Production costs are higher than those in the “dollar banana” area.
More than 90% of production is exported onto the European market due to trade preferences granted by the EU.

Average farm size is 5-10 hectare and yields about 11 t/ha. Banana production increased during the 1980s and early
1990s, but has known s ince a strong decline in production of 7.5 percent per annum, plus a 6 percent decrease in the
area planted.

The export share of the Caribbean has gone down from 4 to 3% and more dramatically, banana revenue have been
consistently declining in the last decade from 1.5 EC$ per kg to 1 EC$ today. (ab 0.32 US cents) The number of small
producers fell from 25,000 in 1993 to less than 5,000 today. This has had a very negative impact on the social and
economic stability of the islands where poverty and drugs are on the increase.

In Jamaica, the bulk of bananas for export originates in a few large plantations and marketing is carried out by the
Banana Export Company (BECO) that ships mainly to the UK. After a steady decline for 20 years, production reached
89 000 tonnes in 1996; 85,000 in 2003. Efforts are currently being made by the government and the EC, through the




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                                9
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
Banana Support Programme, to make the banana industry more competitive through higher productivity, reduced
overhead and operating costs, improved fruit quality and better handling and marketing of bananas.

Prospects are very worrying for the Eastern Caribbean islands: current level of prices offered by British supermarkets
are not sustainable and unrealistic in view of the technology (or rather lack of) used in the islands. Supermarkets (in
the UK) are handling over contracts to Cameroon and Ivory Coast banana exporters which can beat them with lower
prices. If the EC applies a single tariff from 2006 onward, their market will be further eroded whether a reduction of
tariff applies or not to ACP countries. Therefore, more and more producers are trying to turn to the fair trade and
organic markets. But the high rate of demand that the EU market has known for the past 9 years is slowing down and
not all of them will be able to survive.

The Dominican Republic, however, has a different story. It has become the largest exporter of the Caribbean. Of the
approximately 280 000 tonnes of bananas exported in 2001, 47 percent originated from the Dominican Republ ic. The
Dominican Republic gained the status of an ACP State in 1990 and has benefited from the duty free export of
bananas into the EC. Exports to this market grew rapidly and by 1993 it was already exporting 62 000 tonnes,
representing more than 80 percent of the total banana exports.
Over 60 000 tonnes of organic bananas were exported from the Dominican Republic in 2002.

In Belize, banana production is carried out in relatively large plantations that use high input and modern technologies.
Bananas production has grown substantially since the mid-1980s to become the third most important agricultural
export.
Hurricane Iris hit the southern coast in 2001 and damaged extensive areas of banana plantations. Exports fell by 24
percent in 2001 and by a further 26 percent in 2002.
Banana exports from Belize are heavily dependent on preferential access to the EU.
The industry is vertically integrated, with farmers selling their produce to Fyffes, the only buyer and exporter.
An history of unfair pricing strategies by Fyffes, and conflicts over workers‟ rights in plantations are not creating a
positive image of Belize bananas, potentially affecting their future development among European consumers.

Suriname: the government-owned Company, Surland, closed in 2002, started to
Re-export through a French company „Agrisol‟ in 2004
Export of 35,000 tonnes are expected in 2004
The industry employs 650-1000 workers non-unionised

2.4. Africa                                                                                         Slide 10

According to FAOSTAT, since the 60s, banana production has increased at about 2.2% per annum.
Land productivity has increased at a slower pace (1%)
90% of bananas are grown as staple food by small farmers
Cameroon and Ivory Coast are the 2 leading exporters, accounting for 98% of all African exports of bananas.
Over the period 85-2000, exports have increased at 10% per year.

Cameroon
In Cameroon, exports have doubled since 93 reaching 260,000 tonnes exported mainly to the EU under ACP
preferential agreement
In 1987, foreign companies began to invest in the develo pment of banana for exports. Del Monte set up a joint
venture with the Cameroon Development corporation. Today, they plant together some 2,100 ha of bananas each
year. CDC provides land and labour, Del Monte credit and technical assistant.
In 1990, Dole entered the country too, buying the Organisation Camerounaise de la Banane and Compagnie
Fruitière.
Both transnational made large investments in irrigation, fruit handling facilities and sanitation equipment in return for
tax e xemptions

First-hand reports from Cameroon indicate that workers get very low wages – a good 50% lower than what would be
a living wage – and that unions are not present. Africa has no tradition of unionisation.

Ivor y coast
Bananas are the first export of Ivory Coast.
They are produced by small farmers and larger plantations. However small farms which are usually located on poor
soils, with steep slopes and limited access to water are not able to compete and are disappearing. The increase in
production in recent years was accompanied by an increase in the scale of production and an expansion of exports
which reached 240,000 t. in 2002




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                               10
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
The increase coincides with a stronger participation of multinational companies and the dissolution of producer
cooperatives and marketing board by the government.
Nowadays, production for exports is an integrated system controlled by a few powerful companies following the same
model as Cameroon. Producers are grouped in the OCAB (Central Organisation Central of Producers exporting
Bananas and Pineapples). SCB (Dole) controls about 50% of exports, Banador a subsidiary of Chiquita. 25% and
Canavèse 10%.

Both countries as well as Cap Verde were there is a small production and exports of organic bananas benefited from
EC funded banana support programme aim ed at improving productivity and accelerating modernisation.

In Cap Verde, CIR AD has a programme which aims to develop organic bananas for export.

In Ghana, there is a small production of fair trade bananas




III. Consumer countries
Imports have increased by 70% over the period 85-2000 from 7 million tonnes to 11.7 million tonnes. The biggest part
of the growth took place in the last few years and is due to the opening of Eastern Europe and China markets, the
decrease in banana prices in real terms and the increase of per capita income in consuming countries (ab. 2% per
year during the 90s)
                                                                                                Slide 11
3.1. Markets
Many changed in trading policies and markets have occurred between 1985 and 2002 which would be almost
impossible to summarise here. They included the first WTO rounds on agriculture, the opening of socialist
economies, the growth of emerging economies in South East Asia and South America, the single European market,
the end of the Lomé convention and the start of the Cotonou negotia tions with the ACP group, the addition of 10
more countries to the EU in 2004, etc
all of which strongly influenced imports and consumption of bananas.

The three main consuming countries are the US and Europe with about 32% of total consumption each and Japan
with 9%.

The US is the largest market in the world with about 4 mio tonnes banana imported each year. Over the period 85 -
2002, the US retained its policy of a free market, i.e. (no tariff, no quantitative restrictions)
Bananas on the US market originate almost entirely from Latin American countries. The business is exclusively in the
hands of the TNCs.
Imports have grown steadily since the 60s but are now showing sign of slowing down.
Consumption per capita has increased steadily due to the fall in retail prices and the growth of per capita income on
average.
Retail prices in the US are very low, due to lower transportation costs and absence of quantitative imports. During the
period 85-2000, retail prices in France were on av. 75% higher and in Japan 88% higher than in the US.
FAO finds that both income and price elasticity of demand are lower than those of emerging economies which means
that no significant increase in US demand is expected in the medium to long term.
                                                                                                    Slide 12
The EU has a managed market and has changed its policy substantially during the period. In 85 -92, EU members
used various import regimes ranging from preferential access to overseas territories and former colonies to free
access for „dollar‟ bananas in Germany.
However, following the creation of the single european market in 92, the various import regimes were harmonised
and the EU put in place the Common Market Organisation for Bananas. The EU regime was challenged many times
both within and outside the EU and reform ed twice and reformed two or three times between 93 and 2001.


In brief: national import regime were harmonised and the EU created in COMB for its own producers (who produce
about 800 000 t. each year).
2 tariff quotas were created, one reserved for the s o-called ACP group (ex colonies of the EU and traditional EU
banana suppliers) and one for all the other countries.



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February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
The „dollar‟ was allocated to market operators through a complex system of import licences based on the countries in
which operators sourced their bananas, on the type of activities they had on the market (importers, ripeners, etc.) and
on their past performance on the market.
To make things further annoying, traditional dollar operators only got 66.5% of the 2.553 mio tonnes allocated under
the dollar quota. The remainder was allocated to newcomers and traditional EC operators. The purpose of this was
to allow EC companies which had higher costs because they imported from area with higher production and transport
costs – to cross subsidise their operations with the rent they could get from selling dollar licences to traditional dollar
operators.

In 2001, the EU reached an agreement with two of the main opponents to its regime, the US and Ecuador: it has
decided to liberalise its regime in two stages. In a first stage, the „dollar‟ category was expanded and licences made
more widely available to „dollar‟ operators; in a second stage, the EU envisages to change its import regime and
adopt a regime based on tariff only (i.e. one tariff applying to all dollar operator; and one under preferential
agreements)

Japan
Japan imports an average of 1 mio tonnes of bananas per year. Its market is dominated by Filipino supply, although
Ecuador is increasing its presence 9from 75,000 tonnes in 86 to 210,00 0 t in 2000)
Japan like the US has no quantitative restrictions but apply a seasonal import tariffs between 40 and 50% depending
on the season. These tariff will be reduced under WTO to 40 and 25% respectively. Developing countries benefit of a
preferential tariff of 10%, however (i.e. most banana exporting countries)

Russia
In Russia, bananas have become very popular representing 1/3rd of total fruit consumption. Imports have grown from
13000 t in 92 to 1 mio tonne now.
Exports come from three countries: Ecuador 61%; Colombia: 23% and Costa Rica: 10%. The rest 3% comes from the
Philippines.
Supply was first shipped through Western Europe but arrives now directly to Russian harbours. Large companies are
dominating the trade. Inflation in 97 severely affected demand: at the end of 97 the price of 1 kg of bananas
represented 41% of the price of beef per kg. In November the same year, prices had climbed to 71% of a kg of beef.
The Russian market offers good prospects over the long term when the economy will h ave fully recovered.

The markets of China and Eastern and Central Europe did not live up to expectations for a number of reasons: the
assumption that the conversion of socialist economies to capitalism would lead to rapidly rising purchasing power
proved over optimistic. The lack of proper transport and infrastructures meant that the delivery of bananas was
restricted to large cities and harbour areas.
Chinese banana imports grew considerably from virtually 0 tp half a million tonne today but production h as also
increased from 500000 t in 94 to over 5.6 mio tonne today.

3.2. Operators                                                                               Slide13

The relative shares of the TNCs has changed in the 80s and the 90s. Chiquita increased its market share prior to the
completion of the European single market in expectations that EU imports would be liberalised. After 1993, Chiquita
lost shares for the profit of Dole, which became the leading world‟s leading banana company in 97 and Del Monte
whose share has remain stable at 15% throughout the period.

New players have appeared in the 90s on the world scenes taking advantage of the growth of emerging economies
(Central Europe, Russia, China and the Middle East). They include national companies in Ecuador such as Noboa
(brand name: Bonita) = 11% of world export in 97 and ReybanCorp (Favorita) 4% or world exports.

As a result of the EU policy, many EU companies have got stronger: Fyffes in Ireland 7 -8% of world market but also
French companies operating in Martinique and Africa and which have become re -exporters to other Western and
Eastern European countries.



The 90s was also marked by:
      -   Cost reduction strategies, as a response to oversupply. TNCs cut jobs in countries with higher wages and
          a higher percentage of workers unionised and moved to Ecuador and Brazil
       -    a partial disengagement from production: farms were sold or leased to local interests
       -    The percentage of TNC‟s owned farms fell from some 60% in 84 to less than 50% in 96.



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February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
       -      An increased power of the retailers in consuming countries
       -      In the 80s, the retail sector started to become more concentrated, a process that accelerated in the 90s.
              The emergence of large national producer groups in exporting countries weakened the position of TNC vis
              a vis retailers, while oversupply also strengthen the bargaining p ower of retailers. Larger retail chains
              have reversed the balance of power.

To restore their profit margin, TNCs have placed emphasis on shipping marketing and provisionning of services
(which generate higher profits). They further cut costs in producing countries and have developed strong brand
names (United Brand International became Chiquita brand international in 90 in order to capitilise on high recognition
and is selling with a premium on the German market). Castle and Cook became Dole Food company t he following
year.

Finally since 98, a lot of pressure has been put on the TNCs for more environmental and social sustainability and
many of the banana companies are now engaged in a competition/race for certification. My colleague will develop this
later


3.3. Prices                                                                                          Slide 14

Over the period, banana world prices declined at 1.4% (compared to a fall of 2% for commodity prices as a whole)
according to the FAO

UNCTAD finds for its part that between 63 and 2003 FOB prices in real terms have almost halved (from 24 to 14
cent/lb).

The fall was particularly strong from 1985 to 2000 (-2.4%). Speculations and the expectations about liberalisation
following the set up of the WTO fostered an expansion of banana exports which, with a stagnant demand, resu lted in
a sharp fall in banana prices. Prices stabilised in the mid 1990s but fell again in the late 90s due to 97 -2000 crisis in
East Asia and Russia.

Prices somewhat recovered in 2001 and 2002 when bad wheather cut supply from Latin America..

Over the period US banana import prices – which are used as a basis for the calculations of the world price by the
FAO because of the size of the market and the absence of restrictions - decrease from 700 US$ per tonne in 1981 to
less than 500 in 2000. Parallely, the FAO has found that marketing margins at the different stage of the import chain
(imports, wholesale and retailing).were expending. The reasons to increase margins could be due in part to higher
costs to comply with new policy regulations on packaging and storage, higher quota rents (EC) or rent due to higher
concentration of the market in the hands of fewer actors. The retail price remained more or less the same, apart from
countries where a war between the giant supermarket place took place in the las t two or three years.

Banana are the cheapest food commodities especially in the USA where conventional loose bananas are still sold
just over US$ 1/kg. In Europe, prices have fallen steadily throughout the 90s, but they are still on average 50% higher
than in the US.
                                                                                                     Slide15
Organic and fair trade markets

Organic, fair trade, plantains and very small bananas represent +/- 5% of the EU market.

World exports of organic certified bananas were estimated to 140,000 t in 2002 (up from 20 000 t in 96) accounting
for over 1% of total banana trade. Bananas are imported mainly from the Dom Rep, Ecuador and Peru.
The US imported 48,000 t org bananas in 2002, the EU 88,000 t and Japan 5400 t.
FOB prices of organic bananas are betw. 5.5 and 8.5 US$ per box. Retail prices vary between 2.30 and 4.70
euros/kg. This represent a premium of 1$/box compared with conventional bananas

Fairtrade bananas were introduced to the EU market in 96. They are imported into the EU and imports reached
66000 t in 2003. The main markets are Switzerland (50% FT) and the UK (in volume; annual growth 20% in 2002/03).
They were recently introduced on the US market too. FT bananas come from the WI, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica
and Ghana. About 30% of FT is also certified organic. FT prices are set on the basis of production costs taking into
account a living wage for workers. A FT premium is added for social and environmental improvements.


Thank you


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February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
2.    Company moves
     Alistair Smith – Banana Link

·    Slide1 : Company moves
Dole – world‟s No.I fruit company:

        -      Concentrating in cheapest supplier – Ecuador
        -      Left Nicaragua and Venezuela
        -      Sold most of its Colombian operations
        -      Cut wages overnight in Costa Rica in 2000
        -      Threatening to abandon Costa Rica if EU regime is maintained
        -      Shifted Guatemalan buying to Pacific coast
        -      Strong pressure on (only) union agreements in Honduras
        -      Rumours of expansion in Africa and Brazil if EU regime changes
        -      Took company off stock exchange when Murdock bought 100% of shares

·    Slide2: Company moves
Del Monte

        -     Broke framework agreement on right to organise with union and cut wages overnight in Costa Rica (by
              40+%)
        -      Opened new plantations in North East Brazil
        -      Heavy pressure on union in Guatemala and new sourcing from non -union Pacific coast
        -      UK sourcing from cheapest source: Cameroon

Chiquita

        -      Near bankruptcy in 2000
        -      Big shift to Pacific coast in Guatemala, closing plantations in Atlantic coast
        -      Sold off operations in Colombia
        -      Tough negotiating stance with unions in Panama, Honduras
        -      Exploring new lands in Angola
        -      Regional agreement with unions


·           Slide3: Company moves
Multiple retailers

        -      Concentrating sourcing on less and less suppliers
        -     Demanding that producers meet standards for no extra reward
        -     Less and less retailers as mergers and acquisitions proceed and big retail expands into new markets
        -     Increasing volumes and stricter and stricter quality demands lead to production systems dependent on
              high volumes of pesticides and single variety monoculture
        -      Retail price wars and retailers growing negotiating power lead to lower and lower prices paid to suppliers
        -      Bigger and bigger share of banana euro/pound goes to retailers
        -      Organic and fair trade seen as „niche‟ markets to extract higher margins

·    Slide4: Impact on workers
        -      Few plantation workers earn a „living wage‟ any more
        -     Work-loads and the length of working days have increased rapidly
        -     Where legal minimum wages were respected and widely exceeded in the past, they are now widely
              violated if the hours worked are taken into account


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       -   Migrant workers facilitate process of cutting real wages (e.g. Nicaraguans in Costa Rica, Peruvians in
           Ecuador, Central Americans in Belize)
       -   „Flexibilisation‟ or „casualisation‟ of workforce undermines chances of claiming labour rights
       -   Women are seen as a bigger risk in countries where they have won maternity bene fits in the past and are
           often the first to be laid off
       -   More and more sophisticated tactics used to keep out or break independent trade union organisation
       -    Governments are recruited by banana companies to collaborate in flouting their own laws in the name o f
           „competitivity‟
       -    There is no pride in being a banana worker, which used to be one of the sought-after jobs in rural areas




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3.    The Workers‟perspective: BANANA WORKER‟S PRESPECTIVE in Cameroon
     Patrick Vewessee - FAWU

The Republic of Cameroon is situated in the Central African region and has a land surface area of some 47.5 million
hectares, out of which 16% is currently under cultivation and over half is forest.

AGRICULTURE:

Agriculture is the mainstay of Cameroon‟s economy and constitutes 80% of its fore ign exchange earnings. Timber
extraction from 39.9 million hectares of forest by foreign companies is another area that brings in foreign exchange
earnings. The cultivation of permanent crops such as coffee, cocoa, oil palms, banana, cotton and tea for exp ort,
remains the backbone of Cameroon‟s economy. Food production remains the main occupation of the rural population
and this makes Cameroon an exporter of foodstuffs in the Central African Region. Agricultural production in
Cameroon is not mechanised, and therefore labour intensive with employment in agriculture constituting 45% of the
total working population.

WORKI NG CONDITIONS IN AGRICULTURE:

Work in agriculture is usually very demanding. Agricultural field workers are exposed to severe weather condit ions all
year around, and become vulnerable to malaria and other skin diseases due to mosquito bites and coming into
contact with toxic chemicals.

BANANA PLANTATION WORKERS:

If work in agriculture in general is very demanding then of course the work of Ba nana plantation workers is not only
demanding but also very exacting. Agriculture is the lowest paid economic sector. Although agricultural workers by
legislation have to work 2400 hours per annum or 48 hours a week, Banana Plantation workers due to the na ture of
their operations are compelled to work hours in excess of the legally stipulated hours. While legislation provides for
overtime rates for hours worked in excess of the statutory 8 hours a day, the system of work (piece work) for most
operations in the cultivation of bananas does not permit for overtime to be paid. There are cases where workers on
certain operations, work up to 13 hours a day but are only paid for 8 hours. The commencement of a day‟s work
starts at 06.30 a.m. but the workers have to leave their houses as early as 04.00 hours in order to be able to get at
their place of work at the stipulated time of the commencement of work.
Two trans-national companies are the sole banana producers in Cameroon, namely Delmonte Fresh Fruit and Dole.
In the Mungo area it is Plantations du Haut Penja that fronts for Dole while C.D.C in Fako area fronts for Delmonte
Fresh Fruits. Being that a National Collective Agreement covers the entire Agricultural Sector, it is proved very
difficult to negotiate a specific Agreement for Banana Plantation Workers. Because of the lack of a separate collective
Agreement for Banana workers, Messrs Dole has taken undue advantage of this and the absence of a strong and
dynamic Trade Union in the Mungo are to pay the worke rs only the minimum wage stipulated in the National
Collective Agreement for the Agricultural Sector as a whole. An illustration of the situation is as follows:
                  P.H.P/Dole :
                  Cat. I “A”: Hourly rate     =        134.55 FCFA        =        26.910 FCFA
                  C.D.C/Delmote:
                  Cat. I “E”: Hourly rate     =        141.98 FCFA        =        28.396 FCFA
                                                       Difference         =        1.486 FCFA


C.D.C/Delmonte in addition to an enhanced minimum wage also pays a housing and transport allowance of 25% and
5% respectively and in addition to the provision of transport. Thus, Delmonte worker on category I “E” receives:

                  Minimum wage                         =        28.396 FCFA
                  25% Housing allowance =              7.099 FCFA
                  5% Transport                         =       1.419 FCFA
                                                                 36.914 FCFA

Dole workers in category I “A” who carryout the same type of e xacting banana plantation work, are paid the
Agricultural minimum wage of 26.910 FCFA only. Meanwhile Dole and Delmonte sell banana in the same market in
Europe.


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MEDICAL FACILITIES :
Both Dole and Delmonte provide 100% free medical care and treatment to both permenant and temporal workers.
Delmonte does not provide medical care and treatment to the worker‟s family while Dole on the other hand provides
80% free medical care and treatment to the worker‟s family.

HECTARES UNDER CULTIVATION:
         P.H.P/Dole                                                       =        2.815 hectares
         C.D.C/Delmonte                                                   =        3.194 hectares
         BAKOSI PL ANTATION:                                              =        300 hectares
         Total hectares under cultivation                                 =        6.309 hectares.


WORKFORCE FOR BANANA S ECTOR:
    1.   P.H.P/DOLE
              -   Permanent male workers                        =         3.010
              -   Permanent female workers                                =        602
              -   Temporal worker                               =         773
                                                                                   4.385

    2.   CDC/DELMONTE:
              -   Permanent male workers                        =         3.050
              -   Permanent female workers                                =        776
              -   Temporal male workers                                   =        1.307
              -   Temporal female workers                       =         85
                                                                                    4.442
Total labour force for the banana sector in Cameroon            =         8.427


PRODUCTION FOR 2004:

                  1. PHP/DOLE                                             =        116.000 Tons
                  2. CDC/DELMONTE                                         =        125.000 Tons
                                                                                   241.000 Tons



USE OF CHEMICALS

Generally, agricultural production requires the use of simple chemicals such as herbicides, pesticide, sulphate of
Ammonia. New technology in the cultivation of bananas has in variably seen the introduction of thirty (30) different
types of chemicals used in banana production in Cameroon. The chemicals are classified under the following heads: -

Herbicides:       Nematicides:       Insecticides:              Molluscicides:     Fongicides
Different Different        Different        Different           Different
Chemicals           Chemicals        Chemicals                  Chemicals                   Chemicals
4                 5                  4                          8                           8

The application of these chemicals are carried out by workers manually over long periods with the exception of
Fongicide chemicals which is carried out by aerial spraying with the use of light Aircraft. The aerial spraying takes
place on working days when workers are carrying out other operations in the field. The effect of this on the workers,
vegetables, planted around the banana plantations and air po llution have never been known.

The area under banana cultivation are areas on which other crops such as oil palms, rubber and food crops were
previously grown and have merely been rehabilitated for banana cultivation with no virgin forest being cut down for
this purpose.


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DISPARITY IN PAYMENT

Labour legislation in Cameroon provide that the rates for remuneration for piece work shall be so calculated that it
provides a worker of average capacity, working normally, with a wage at least equal to that of a wo rker engaged in
similar work and paid by unit of time. The principal operations in banana cultivation are: -
       -    Chemical weeding
       -    Deleafing
       -    Deflowering
       -    Bagging
       -    Harvesting
       -    Boxing.

These operations are carried out as “piece work” but are remunerated under wh at Delmonte terms as “incentives”
instead of piece rate which is provided in the legislation. The disparities between “incentive payment” and “piece rate”
are as follows: -

Chemical weeding:          Piece rate at      178 frs per hour = 34.176 frs per month
Incentive pay                                                           = 26.400frs per month
Disparity                                                      = 7.776 frs per month

Deleafing:                 Piece rate at      178 frs per hour = 34.176 frs per month
Incentive pay                                                           = 31.680 frs per month
Disparity                                                      = 2.496 frs per month

Deflowering:               Piece rate at      178 frs per hour = 34.176 frs per month
Incentive pay                                                           = 28.920 frs per month
Disparity                                                      = 5.256 frs per month

Bagging:                   Piece rate at 178 frs per hour                = 34.176 frs per month
Incentive pay                                                            = 25.960 frs per month
Disparity                                                       = 8.256 frs per month

Harvesting:                Piece rate at 226 frs per hour                = 54.240 frs per month
Incentive pay                                                            = 51.600 frs per month
Disparity                                                       = 2.640 frs per month

Boxing:           Piece rate at 227 frs per hour                         = 54.480 frs per month
Incentive pay                                                            = 51.840 frs per month
Disparity                            =                          = 2.640 frs per month


In an attempt to have Delmonte to regularise the disparity in accordance with social legislation, the Union has been
informed by the General Manager Delmonte Cameroon that this will have a negative impact in the future audits from
the supermarkets in Europe (Delmonte letter of November 2004).




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4.    THE PLIGHT, THE STRUGGLE AND THE PERSPECTIVE OF BANANA FARMERS' COOPERATIVES IN
      THE PHILIPPINES
     Koronado b . Apuzen - Farmcoop


The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988

The passage of the agrarian reform law in 1988 altered the landscape of commercial farming in the Philippines. The
law mandates the distribution of lands owned by or leased to multinational companies and corporate landlords to
landless farm workers through their cooperatives upon payment of just compensation. It envisions the liberation of
farmworkers from poverty and the upliftment of their quality of life. To realize this objective, the government called on
NGOs and POs to assist in its implementation.

Seeing the decline of trade unionism and the rise of cooperativism upon the implementation of agrarian reform in
commercial farms, the National Federation of Labor (NFL), an affiliate of the International Union of Foods (IUF) and
the dominant labor federation in the banana industry, responded to this call, leading to the formation of the
Foundation for Agrarian Reform Cooperatives in Mindanao (FARMCOOP) b y union leaders and concerned
professionals. FARMCOOP is a coop-centered organization committed to the building of plantation-based
cooperatives in the banana industry into sustainable and empowered institutions.

The one-sided contracts

Expectedly, banana companies resisted the implementation of the law. They successfully lobbied to defer its
implementation for ten years purportedly to recover their investments.

But some banana companies are smarter than others. A multinational company and its subsidiaries saw in the law an
opportunity to eliminate labor unions and land rentals, and cheapen production cost. Instead of availing of the ten-
year deferment, they opted for its immediate implementation and even assisted the farm workers in fast-tracking the
acquisition of the land.

In their quest to make the best of agrarian reform, the company took advantage of the farm workers‟ innocence and
lack of knowledge of the economics and intricacies of the banana business in imposing a lopsided contract. But it
did not take long for the agrarian beneficiaries to realize that they have been short changed. They incurred huge
debts and suffered economic miseries as they produced more bananas for the company. They were worse -off as
landowners than before as landless paid workers.

The struggle for economic liberation

At this juncture, FARMCOOP mobilized the cooperatives to demand for the abrogation of their onerous contracts and
negotiate a fair one. When the company rejected their demand, they struck, totally paralyzing farm operations. In
response, the company went to court and obtained orders directin g them to return to their farms and deliver bananas
for export. However, they defied the court orders and persisted in their strike, causing them to suffer untold hunger,
intimidations, brutalities, and physical harm in the hands of hired armed goons.

After two months of concerted action and with heavy pressure from the IUF and other concerned consumer groups in
Japan, U. S., and Europe, the company relented and settled for a fair contract called FOB.

After a year of implementation of the FOB contract, the situation was reversed: the cooperatives - from losing to
gaining; and the agrarian beneficiaries - from poverty to an uplifted economic life. Their economic transformation
greatly contributed to the economic boom in the community.

Encouraged by this development, small banana growers of the company who have been suffering for years under the
yoke of the same onerous contract sought FARMCOOP‟s help in abrogating and replacing it with a new
arrangement similar to that of the agrarian cooperatives. Thus, they organized their cooperatives and went on strike
when their demands were rejected. Their struggle paid off after three months when the company yielded to their
demands with the help of the IUF and other support groups.

But the company seems unhappy with the new contract. Midway into the 10-year contract, it has been persistently
proposing its amendment, offering an increase of $0.10 per box of Class A bananas, but at the same time ensuring
its exclusivity as buyer of the Class B bananas at less than half the price of Class A bananas. One cooperative who
accepted this offer claims that it is now financially hard-up as a result of the downgrading of Class A to Class B
bananas.


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Other agrarian and small growers' cooperatives who have contracts with other banana companies are in worse
situation. Except for a few agrarian cooperatives who have a fair contract with a Chiquita subsidiary, the cooperatives
who are not serviced by FAR MCOOP and who sell their bananas to corporate growers of a large Japanese
conglomerate and big local producers and exporters are consigned to suffer for a long term because of their one -
sided contracts.

Banana expansions in the highlands: the grim effects

There has been a rush in the last four years among banana com panies to expand their plantations in the highlands
of Mindanao, Southern Philippines. This phenomenon is propelled by the increasing demand in Japan for bananas
grown in areas where the elevation is from 500 to 1,000 meters above sea level because bananas grown in this
altitude are sweeter, tastier, and command a much higher price than bananas grown in the lowlands.

This race to the highlands has pushed banana companies to encroach into thousands of hectares of lands in
environmentally critical areas like watersheds and protected natural parks. They destroy the environment with their
mono cropping and high chemical farming systems, disregarding protests from concerned citizens and
environmentalists. As a result, forests and wildlife are disappearing; the quantity and quality of water are diminishing,
and irrigated rice lands of lowland rice farmers are drying up.

But as severe as the destruction of the environment is the victimization of indigenous peoples and marginal settler -
farmers who live in the highlands. Due to decades of poverty, many highland dwellers who own small pieces of lands
have been lured into cheap and long term leases. They are being enticed by a five -year advance payment of land
rental and promise of employment for those below 35 years old. It is not farfetched to see a social volcano exploding
in the affected highlands in the coming years, driven by the grinding poverty of the displaced farmers. As a result of
these vast expansions, the Philippines is now ranked as the third larges t exporter of bananas in the world.

These expansions have raised apprehension among banana companies in the country. The y see a possible glut in
the Japanese market in the near future. While highland bananas currently enjoy a premium price, it is, however,
seen that when the highland expansions will be fully productive and production will soar and take a big slice into the
market share of lowland bananas, the price of highland bananas will level off to an amount close to the price of
lowland bananas. In such event, there may not only be a cut in the price of lowland bananas, but a glut as well. Of
course, there is the big China market, but China is mainly a Class B market where the prices for most of the year are
way below production cost.

The small farmers' alternative

Poor agrarian beneficiaries, small settler-farmers, and indigenous peoples in the highlands in Southern Philippines
who have rejected the lease offers of big banana companies have approached FARMCOOP, expressing their desire
for an alternative scheme which would address their plight. Thus, an alternative sustainable production and marketing
strategies were arrived at in which production is farmer-based, diversified, and organic; and marketing is negotiated
directly with the foreign buyers through the cooperatives‟ marketing arm. In the scheme of things, FARMCOOP
provides institutional capacity, credit access, technology transfer, and market linkage.

There is now a community in the highlands of Mindanao where this model is bein g developed by cooperatives of
indigenous peoples. So far, production is viable and pests and diseases are controlled.

It is farmer-based because the farmers are the producers and entrepreneurs, making them the direct beneficiaries of
their toil in their own land. It is diversified because existing improvements on the land like fruit trees, coconut trees,
and indigenous trees are not cut down and bananas are inter-cropped in between trees; if the land is without trees,
they are required to intercrop trees with bananas, or plant indigenous trees or fruit trees, in boundaries, buffer areas,
slopes and river banks; soil and water conservation measures are being put in place.

Organic certification is a goal to attain, thus organic farming methods are applied and inputs are strictly organic.

The community also benefits from the project. Part of the purchase price - a few cents per box - are set aside for the
community‟s infrastructure and social development projects.

In monocrop farms of agrarian reform beneficiaries located alongside commercial plantations in the lowlands,
experiments in bio-organic and low chemical conversion of banana farms where chemical pesticides are heavily
applied are also being conducted.




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In marketing, bananas are directly sold to Japanese importers through established marketing arms in which the
farmers are profit sharers. The cooperative federation has been in the export business since three years ago
although it is still in a small scale.

There are risks in farmer-based, diversified and organic farming, and direct marketing, but these are off-set by the
protection of the environment and the benefits of giving empowered agrarian beneficiaries, small setller -farmers, and
indigenous peoples a niche in the country's industry and in the world market.




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5.    An introduction to the objectives of the International Banana Conference *
     Alistair Smith – Banana Link

·    Slide 1: Many unresolved prob lems of the b anana economy:
        -   SOCIAL: violations of workers‟ rights; major health problems, job insecurity, poverty in banana
            communities…
        -   ENVIRON MENTAL: polluted water, degraded soils, chemical and plastic waste, no biological diversity,
            genetic vulnerability...
        -   ECONOMIC: unfair prices, low wages, profits concentrated in few hands, overproduction…

·    Slide 2 : Why an IBC II?
        -   No other occasions when all main players meet together
        -   Agenda set by small farmers, plantation workers and concerned consumers
        -   IBC I did not resolve all the issues, although it gave civil society a clear agenda on, for example, codes of
            conduct and private standards initiatives;
        -   IBC I did not discuss key economic issues like prices, wages, overproduction;
        -   IBC I did not involve supermarkets


·    Slide 3: Why an IBC II?
        -    Once again, as in 1998, the EU regime issue threatens to unleash a second round of banana „wars‟
        -    Fair trade and sustainable production have gained a lot of ground, but still remain relatively marginal to
            the overall banana economy
        -    We are in an accelerating “RACE TO THE BOTTOM” because of the unresolved economic problems
            which are threatening to undermine many of the social and environmental advances and keep sustainable
            production and trade marginal, coupled with price wars in the retail market as the most powerful compete
            to find the cheapest bananas.


·    Slide 4 : Why an IBC II?
        -   Multilateral forum
        -   Commitments on trade union and workers‟ rights
        -   Commitments to fair remuneration
        -   Women‟s role on international agenda
        -   Define “fair price”
        -   Debate control of overproduction
        -   Analyse structure of chain
        -   Secure protection of living, working and natural environment
        -   Role of private standards
        -   Viable EU regime




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                              23
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
6.    The environmental and health effects of industrial banana production*
     Gilb erth Bermudez, Latin American Coordination of Banana Workers’ Unions (COLSIBA)

·    Slide 2:
ENVIRON MENTAL PROBLEMS IN THE BAN AN A PL ANTATIONS

·    Slide 3:
        -   Bananas in the world
        -   In order to place the importance of banana production in the environmental perspective, it is necessary to
            ask: where do bananas grow? Historically, banana production emerges at the centre of vast land
            extensions in the humid tropics; a region rich in biological diversity and with an enormous capacity of
            producing clean water and pure air, and which is today a source of environmental concern.


·    Slide 4:
The monoculture type of production in which bananas have been historically grown in this area, is indicative of its lack
of environmental friendliness and, thus, it is understandable that many actors are pressing for production methods
which have a lesser impact on nature.

·    Slide 5:
        -   Clean mountain water
        -   Pollution after running through banana plantations


·    Slide 6:
        -   WATER DEPOSITS AFFECTED BY MONOCULTURE BAN AN A PRODUCTION
        -   Agrochemical waste is constantly fed into the rivers


·    Slide 7:
·    Consumers had to be offered not only a better quality product, but also one with good appearance. The ideal
     image of a banana implied developing production processes in which agrochemicals played an essential role.
     Today, this role is being questioned due to the high price paid by men and women workers in terms of their
     health, by the communities and the environment.

·    Slide 8:
        -    Current production requires a technological package loaded with chemicals, fungicides, nematodes,
            insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers and disinfectants.
        -   A study carried out in Costa Rica by the Swedish Foundation for Nature Protection indicates that a good
            harvest of 70 tonnes per hectare a year contains 111 kg of nitrogen, 13 of phosphor, 350 kg potassium,
            10-20 kg of magnesium, sulphur and calcium.
        -   Thomas Lusting. SSNC’s Search for the Perfect Banana, p. 16.




·    Slide 9:
        -   A family directly affected by application of agrochemicals in front of their house.
        -   Hand of a woman worker
        -   Direct cause of genetic deformations through use of agrochemicals


·    Slide 10:
        -   HIGH POVERTY R ATE
        -   Several families under one roof


West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                             24
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
       -    Inhumane sanitary conditions


·   Slide 11:
       -    MARGIN ALIZED AREAS
       -    85% of workers live in deprived areas and around 15% in company housing

·   Slide 12:
The environmental problems are a consequence of a production system based on the relaxation of the terms of
employment which hinder the right of organising into trade unions and, hence, a greater workers‟ participation in
environmental awareness and management. Out of the 485,000 men and women banana workers in Latin America
only around 35,000 precariously enjoy the right of freedom of association.

·   Slide 13:
       -    The underlying issue is that in a flexible labour system freedom of association is not recognised, and thus
           the possibilities of negotiating and demanding respect for the basic environmental, labour and ecologic
           standards are limited.
       -    What role do the men and women workers play in environmental issues if they do not enjoy freedom of
           association?
       -    It is worth mentioning the results of an investigation by Dr Raul Harari from the Institute of Environmental
           Studies (IFA, Spanish abbreviation) on the relation between labour flexibility and labour environment in
           the banana plantations in Ecuador.


·   Slide 14
New forms of reducing workers‟ wages have been researched and developed, so that, for example , nowadays, in
spite of having negotiated wages, workers have to do piece work (per hectare, number of bags/boxes, etc.), setting a
certain number of tasks. It has the following effects:
       -    It forces workers to improve upon their already-intensified work-yield or
       -    It creates the need to lengthen their day‟s work in order to achieve the exaggerated production objectives
            set by the company
       -    This situation has serious consequences for workers
       -    Job stability is permanent at risk as production objectives cannot be re ached.


·   Slide 15
ENDANGERED SPECIES

·   Slide 16
The Amazonian Manatee or Trichechus inunguis is now living amidst the ecological imbalance caused in
neighbouring banana plantations which are spoiling the natural habitat of these beautiful and peaceful creatu res.
Tons of agrochemicals, ordinary and organic waste, oil, sediment are breaking the balance of the fragile ecosystems.

·   Slide 17
       -    FISH SLAUGHTER
       -    In 2003, eight cases of dead fish in massive quantities were registered, in 2004 there were six cases
       -    The case with most deaths took place on January 13 2003 near Bataan Airport, Costa Rica.

·   Slide 18
Dead fish in Barbilla River, Matina Costa Rica, 31 January 2005

·   Slide 19
       -    CONCLUSIONS



West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                             25
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
       -    Tackling the environmental problems caused by banana production requires the active participation of all
           actors in the banana chain as well as that of civil society, scientific, corporate, governmental and
           institutional initiatives for a global improvement of the environment.
       -    The discussion on the international banana market and its terms of trade has to include environmental
           and labour issues.
       -    The technology used in banana production is aimed solely at product quality with no consideration for the
           environmental impact caused. There is a need to redirect technological research to a production that is
           more environmentally friendly.


·   Slide 20
       -    The environmental issue is also part of the labour flexibility issue; the non recognition of workers‟ rights is
           a consequence of the lack of freedom of association; the price of bananas of its te rms of trade.
       -    Societal and scientific pressure as well as commitments acquired by various actors along the banana
           chain could improve the use of technologies, research and information related to the solution of
           environmental problems.
       -    Banana production takes place in or is surrounded by ecosystems that are vital to water and air.
           However, there is no historical awareness among its actors (workers, producers and public authorities) in
           relation to the protection of such environment. It is necessary to prom ote aspects related to the spreading
           of information and the importance of culture and education.
       -    It must not be forgotten that one of the main victims of the environmental pollution in banana production
           has been the labour sector. Seeking to make improvem ents to the environment around the banana
           production without taking into account the social and labour problems of the sector, would be a plain
           contradiction of any environmental initiative.




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                                26
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
7.    Fair Trade Minimum Price
     Harriet Lamb (Fairtrade Foundation)

·    Slide 2
Definition:
The principle of the minimum price is to guarantee that the producers are paid a price that covers the costs of
sustainable production – with a premium to invest in the future.

·    Slide 3,4
Principles
       -   Sufficient to cover costs of sustainable production – including social and environmental improvements. It
           must work for smallholders but must not compensate for inefficiencies
       -   Guarantee equal access for each of the producers in Fairtrade.
        -    Reflect the costs of different producers in the same country or region – assuming each of them will have
             different costs.
        -    Minimum prices do not reflect reality of the costs 100%. But they are a guide.
        -    Stability is as important as the level of the price.
        -      Transparent consultation between stakeholders.


·    Slide 5
Guaranteed minimum price in US$ per 18.14kg box
Plus the Fairtrade premium of US$1.75 per 18.14kg box

Windward Islands                                  $5.75 farm gate

Republica Dominicana organic                      $5.50 farm gate

Republica Dominicana conventional                 $4.50 farm gate

Ecuador organic                                   $7.25 FOB

Ecuador conventional                              $5.25 FOB

Costa Rica                                        $6.00 FOB

Ghana                                             $6.75 FOB

Colombia                                          $5.25 FOB

Peru                                              $2.20 „Fruit on plant‟ (the export company harvests,
                                                  transports and packs the crop

·    Slide 9, 10
How does FLO determine the minimum price?

Principles of Price Setting
       -   Consistent process
       -   Fair between producers
        -      Achievable in the market
        -      Transparent in outcome
        -      Sustainable in management
        -      Simple to audit


·    Slide 12


West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                           27
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
Establishing a Price
Research
       -   relevant COSPs
               -    specific producers
               -   sector norms
       -    wage rates/improvement costs
       -    market access costs


Consultation
      -    producers and traders
      -    pragmatic, transparent


·   Slide13
Price Components

       -    Actual cost of production
       -    Additional wage/social costs
       -    Additional environmental costs
       -    „Certification system costs‟
                -     inspection
                -     administration
                -     Consultation
       -    Prices are set for producer organisation – not each farmer.
       -    Prices are set at FOB, Farmgate or CIF – as appropriate

·   Slide 15
Difficulties of fixing a minimum price
       -    Difficulties in collecting information on cos ts of production – both from producers and from Ngos etc.
       -    Determing the living wage.
       -    Balancing principles with market access.

·   Slide16
The Social Premium - El „Social Premium‟
The objective of the social premium is to enable the workers/small holders to p articipate directly in the benefits of
FAIRTRADE.


·   Diap 17
       -    The size of the premium is based on:
                -   market access
                -   social needs
       -    Fixed as fee per kg per product
       -    The workers/small holders determine the use of the premium as a group.
       -    The benefit per worker/small holder is compared to local wage, to ensure that it will generate a sufficient
           impact

·   Slide18
Managing the Premium

       -    Work only with representative bodies


West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                              28
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
       -    Premium decisions made locally
       -    Audited as fixed fee per kg traded
       -    General decision-making monitored through inspection/support process
       -    Premium use within agreed Development Plan

·   Slide19
The challenge is how to better involve different stakeholders in Fairtrade in the fixing of minimum prices?




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                     29
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
8.   Report on WORKSHOPS Session 1 :


Workshop1: WHAT IS A FAIR PRI CE AND WHAT IS A LIVING WAGE ?

     1.   Ian Burgess (Coop UK):

              -   3500 small and medium sized stores in UK
              -   Banana business: Fairtrade and other sources selected according to Ethical Sourcing principles of
                  the Coop.
              -   Sustainable living wage must be sufficient to include living costs as well discretionary expenditure
                  (cultural activities, saving)
              -   “Race to the bottom” of retail prices inevitably affects prices paid to growers and the wages of
                  workers.
              -   Consumers appear to expect ever-decreasing prices.
              -   The difference in price of Fairtrade bananas versus the price of other bananas on the retail shelf is
                  an issue.
              -   Need to mobilize the consumer, make him/her aware of the importance of fair and sustainable
                  prices.

     2.   Simeon Green (Windwards Banana Company)

              -   Bananas are big business – 750 million pounds
              -   Bananas are cheaper than 15 years ago
              -   Terms of trade have deteriorated – a ton of bananas will buy only about half the imported
                  manufactured goods it would have bought 15 years ago.
              -   Wealth is being transferred from the poor to the prosperous
              -   Living wage needs to be calculated based on the real needs of workers and local costs.
              -   Fair prices need to enable all participants in the supply chain to make a decent living
              -   Fairtrade is a good solution.

     3.   Harriet Lamb (Fairtrade Foundation)

              -   Prices of agricultural commodities, not only bananas, are down 40%
              -   Fairtrade system is not perfect, but an attempt to create equitable conditions for all participants in
                  the supply chain, including workers.
              -   Fairtrade pricing includes the minimum FOB price as well as the Fairtrade premium
              -   The Fairtrade premium is intended as “an investment in the future”, determined by the democratic
                  process of the Joint Body.
              -   Stability of prices is as important as their level
              -   Minimum FOB prices are calculated by a process of transparent consultation, considering the cost
                  of production, the social and environmental impact, the cost of certification etc.
              -   Can Fairtrade prices be paid? Definitely yes, witness the rapid growth of the Fairtrade sales.
              -   There is evidence that the consumer is increasingly concerned with the conditions of production,
                  not just with the sticker price.
              -   It can be difficult to balance the principle of a fair price with market access, but it is possible.



     4.   Questions and discussion:

How is the Fairtrade system policed? Audits of registered traders, importers, exporters and farmers to ensure the
correct price and premium are paid.

How does Fairtrade operate in Ecuador? There appear to be no unions on a Fairtrade farm (Prieto), and how is the
premium handled?

Can method of calculating living wage be standardized and published?

Concern expressed regarding the low prices for bananas paid by consumers – not sustainable or fair prices.

The trade unions play a key role in ensuring that a living wage is paid and that the law is complied with.


West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                             30
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
Can the supply chain be lengthened or shortened, for example can importers become wholesalers to exercise more
influence and bargaining power in the setting of retail prices?

Can producers join forces to enforce higher retail prices when supplies are short such as now?

Should banana producers be more innovative to diversify banana products?




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                    31
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
Workshop 2 : Tackling overproduction and price instability – what instruments could we use ?

Brief Presentation by Tom Lines:
Tackling overproduction and price instability - what instrument could we use
1 Commodity price problems ( agriculture products, raw materials, metals)
1. Price or instability ( weekly, monthly, daily)
2. Declining price trends (in relation to other prices for example goods and services)
3. Declining share of final price reaching farmers/ workers - who are power along the supply chain.

Reasons of instability of prices:
- imbalance between supply and demand. Solutions : supply management
AGENTS:
       -   ( consumer-side)
       -    a. groups of companies
       -    b. single company
       -    c. consumer country governments( ie EU)
       -    (Producer -side)
       -    d. Producer country governments ( ie OPEC)
       -    e. intergovernmental agreements (producers and consumers) (ie International Commodity Agreements)

TECHNIQUES
     -  a. Buffer stock (someone buys and holds when there's too much)
     -  b. Export quotas
     -  c. Import quotas or tariffs
       -    d. Direct control of production (production quota)
       -    e. Price supports

Banana Market :
     -   - Hard to point out what is the reason for instability
     -   - no single price for reference
     -   - not easily available market information: prices, volumes etc

European supply system:
      -   - consumer country governments applied import quotas
       -    - governments led supply management

US supply system : series of single companies using their own direct control of production.

DEBATE

1) Can we talk of overproduction when people are starving ?
-Overproduction occurs in food markets
- problem is balance between allocation of resources for different foods to be produced and the destination o f those
foods (export or consumption)
Food crops and markets crops have complex relations
banana is perishable and also expensive to convert to a more "conservable" form.

2) Why an organisation similar to ICO or ISO ?

- Large Market is segmented into smaller markets (US,EU) not felt needs.
- difficult to hold stocks
- market dominated by large private companies
- not one price reference from one market
- year long production

3) Quotas : would an agreement blw governements to impose production quotas ?



West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                          32
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
4) Colsiba position vis a vis the upcoming chances to the EU banana regime.
In order to address the effects of these changes, it would be very important to bring all parts of the banana market,
including farmers, workers, governments, private companies, retailers, scientist etc ...

Questions for us:
- Macroeconomic issue - developing countries to try to solve their economical problems through exports ¿

- How can much power be passed on to producer countries?
1) grouping of producers like OPEC
2) intergovernmental agreements? (traditional export quotas - problem:free riders)
Using what techniques?

- Under what conditions can producers as a group exert more power ?
More globalized markets
Sense of solidarity among producers

- Should decisions apply to all varieties
- Should they apply to all producer countries ?

1) Is the time right ? to challenge the way things are going
2) Is it right in time to establish some sort of banana organisation ?
3) If yes, How do we get key actors to participate?

Comment : prices in Europe based on the Aldi price
In UK is it the ASDA price ?




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                           33
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
9.   WORKSHOPS Session 2 :


Workshop1: How could the EU regime support sustainable development ?



The workshop opened with a brief introduction by the facilitator. He suggested that if, a s seemed possible the EU‟s
Tariff Only plans were challenged, then the EU might well continue with the status quo in the short term. If this were
the case, then there could be an opportunity for making proposals for a new EU regime which could actively support
a more sustainable banana industry. One idea, that of differentiated tariffs, had already been put forward by Euroban
and the purpose of the workshop was to explore this idea further or to come up with alternative ideas for a
sustainable banana regime.

Liz Parker then provided a brief summary of the idea of differentiating tariffs. The fundamental idea, she explained,
was to impose a tariff which could be reduced in a series of tranches for imports which met certain social and/or
environmental criteria. The fact that compliance with the criteria would lead to reductions in the import tariff, would
provide an incentive for producers to comply with higher standards than are commonly extant in the industry.

Initially there were some negative reactions to the idea, these hanging primarily on the observation that any such
interference in the market would distort prices. However, although an aversion to “distorting markets” remained a
recurring theme, there appeared to be a widely held view that distorting markets was not necessarily a problem. A
majority of the participants appeared to believe that policies aimed at social goods were perfectly legitimate and that if
the market was distorted in such a way as to deliver improved standards in the industry, tha t was by no means a bad
thing.

Once, after a fairly lengthy discussion, there appeared to be a majority in favour of the basic idea, even though this
was far from being a unanimous endorsement, the decision moved on to consider the kinds of standards which might
be used to underpin differentiated tariff levels. There was a fairly widespread agreement that the social standards
should entail at least respect for the right to free association and collective bargaining and the paying of a sustainable
living wage. It was observed that it might be easier to reach an agreement on social issues than it would be on
environmental issues. These latter might depend on terrain, climate etc. whereas the social issues appeared to be
more universal.

Industry participants expressed concern over the range of environmental standards which already existed and were
clearly unenthusiastic about another level of standards being added to those which they already had to respect (such
as Eurep-GAP, individual supermarket standards, etc.) If it were possible to achieve a harmonisation of standards, on
the other hand, this might be advantageous to everyone, provided the supermarkets agreed (although this was
regarded as being potentially problematic).

Social standards, on the other hand, appeared less diverse and were mostly rooted in the ILO Core Conventions. The
representatives of Chiquita, Dole and Del Monte were again concerned about the multiplication of standards. On the
other hand, they argued, SA8000 had become a widely accepted industry standard and was in any case either
already adopted or was being adopted by many producers.

Workshop participants from Ecuador expressed some cynicism about these standards and in particular questioned
whether the whole idea of differentiated tariffs would really improve the lot of banana workers. They also pointed to
the difficulty of applying standards to small family farmers who were simply struggling to survive (particularly single
women farmers). Single women in particular might, for example, need to use “child labour” from their own family as a
necessary part of survival. A Human Rights Watch investigation which had condemned the use of child labour in
Ecuador had made life difficult for struggling single mothers. They were concerned that the imposition of standards
could make life worse rather than better and might not be able to take into account the daily life of the poorest
producers in the sector. It was also observed that in spite of the increasing take up of SA8000, realities on the g round
seemed to be getting worse not better.

A fairly intense discussion of the SA8000 standards followed and included an apparent acknowledgement from the
industry side that verification might be a problem and that this needed to be strengthened. At leas t one participant
who sat on the SAI board stressed the need to build on the provision within the standards for unions and NGOs to
challenge certification whenever they thought that it had been granted inappropriately.

Industry participants took the view that a strengthened SA8000 which incorporated (as the standards already
required) certification right down the chain to the primary producer (thus dealing with the problem of subcontracting)


West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                               34
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
and which also ensured good standards of verification, together w ith better opportunities for challenging certification,
could provide a ready made model for the social element of the standards to be used as the basis for differentiating
tariffs. It was also observed however that what had hitherto been a private standar d might not be acceptable as the
basis for an EU instrument.

Although the focus of the discussion was primarily on the EU, there was also some (inconclusive) consideration of
how such a system might be generalised. In this case an International Banana Org anisation, bringing together the full
range of stakeholders was generally seen as being a necessary body, to allow agreement on appropriate standards.

Overall there appeared to be a feeling that the idea was in principal a good and interesting one, but th is enthusiasm
was strongly tempered by concerns about the potential complexity of any system for agreeing and verifying
standards, combined with doubts about the political feasibility of such a system in the current climate.

The assessment of the authors of the original paper on differentiating tariffs (which formed the background to the
workshop), to the effect that such a system could be defended as being WTO compliant (via sympathetic
interpretations of Articles III and XX, and reference to certain precedents) was not challenged nor indeed discussed
by the participants.




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                              35
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org
Western European Preparatory Seminar - 10/11 February 2005

Participants

John Tugwell                                                Fyffes
jtugwell@fyffes.com
Gary Chapman                                                Fresh Del Monte
Fabio Escobar                                               Fresh Del Monte
pmiller@uk.freshdelmonte.com
Syl vain Cuperlier                                          Dole Europe
sylvain_cuperlier@eu.dole.com
George Jaksch                                               Chiquita International
gjaksch@chiquita.com
Fiona Wheatley**                                            Sainsburys
fiona.wheatley@sainsburys.co.uk
Ian Burgess                                                 The Co-operative Group
ian.burgess@co-op.co.uk
David Croft                                                 The Co-operative Group
david.croft@co-op.co.uk
Simeon Greene                                               Windwards Banana Company
sgreene@windwards -bananas.co.uk
Paul Dickson*                                               JP Fruit
pdickson@jpfruit.co.uk
Antonella Santangeli                                        Cogea
ASantangeli@cogea.it
Teke Ndembe Johnson*                                        Del Monte Cameroon
ekebbi@yahoo.co.uk
Edwin Laurent                                               Special Banana Envoy for OECS
edwin.laurent@skynet.be
David Jones                                                 DEFRA
david.jones@defra.gsi.gov.uk
Lynn Allardyce                                              DEFRA
lynnallardyce@defra.gsi.gov.uk
Brendan Archbold                                            MANDATE
barchbold@mandate.ie
Rudi Pfeifer                                                Banafair
rudi.pfeifer@banafair.de
An Lambrechts                                               Oxfam Wereldwinkels
an.lambrechts@oww.be
Bert Schouwenburg                                           GMB
bert.schouwenburg@gmb.org.uk
Lena Sharp                                                  GMB
Elgreco2104@aol.com
Maria Palm                                                  Swedish Society for Nature Conservation
maria.palm@snf.se
Harriet Lamb                                                Fairtrade Foundation
harriet.lamb@fairtrade.org.uk
Rachel Sutton                                               UK Food Group
Rachel@ukfg.org.uk
Jacqueline Roberts                                          SV2G
jacques@waitrose.com
Wilberforce Emanuel                                         WINFA, St Vincent
winfa@caribsurf.com
Gilberth Bermudez                                           COLSIBA, Costa Rica
gilbumana@racsa.cr
Selfa Sandoval                                              COLSIBA, Guatemala
colsiba@racsa.co.cr
Koronado Apuzen                                             FAR MCOOP, Philippines
farmcoop@mozcom.com
Patrick Vwessee                                             FAWU, Cameroon
vewengam@yahoo.com


West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                      36
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                              www.ibc2.org
Alistair Smith                                              Banana Link
blink2005@wanadoo.fr
Jan Nimmo                                                   Banana Link
jan@greengold.org.uk
Carmen Banegas                                              FENACLE, Ecuador
fenacle@easynet.net.ec
Ralph Gayton                                                Banana Link
ralph.gayton@ntlworld.com
Esteban Arbedola                                            Banana Link
c/o info@bananalink.org.uk
Anna Cooper                                                 Banana Link
c/o info@bananalink.org.uk
Jacqui Mackay                                               Banana Link
info@bananalink.org.uk
Iain Farquhar                                               Banana Link
i_farquhar@hotmail.com
Liz Parker                                                  EUROBAN
lizparker@onetel.com
Marta Cano                                                  Interpreter
macano@t-online.de
Carina Ceschi                                               Interpreter
ances@gmx.net
Marina Guedon                                               IBC Co-ordinator
edwin.laurent@skynet.be
Anne-Claire Chambron                                        EUROBAN Co-ordinator
euroban@tele2.fr
Tom Lines                                                   Consultant

Bill Vorley                                                 IIED
Bill.Vorley@iied.org
Luisa Cheshire                                              Americafruit
luisa@fruitnet.com
Joanna Blythman                                             Journalist
blythman@gn.apc.org
Lionel Hubbard                                              University of Newcastle
Lionel.Hubbard@newcastle.ac.uk
Maria Furugori                                              Banana Link
mfurugori@hotmail.com
Linda McAvan                                                MEP
lindamcavan@lindamcavanmep.org.uk
Teresa Mackay                                               TGWU
teresa.mackay@ntlworld.com
Lenroy Thomas                                               Windward Island Banana Support Group
LenroyThomas@aol.com
Paul Harwood                                                Agrofair
paulharwood@twin.org.uk
Nizar Kalfane                                               Overseas Ministry, French Government
nizar.kalfane@outre-mer.gouv.fr
Syl via Ugalde                                              Costa Rican Embassy, London (Ministro Consejero)
syugalde@rree.go.cr
Lee Corbett                                                 Amicus
lee.corbett@rolls -royce.com

* Did not attend

** Represented by David Meller (Project Manager)




West European Preparatory Seminar for the Second International Banana Conference                         37
February 10th – 11 th 2005 London Report of the meeting                            www.ibc2.org

				
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