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Monday, 24 January 2011

Ending the banana wars: Who wins and who loses?

The EU is the world's biggest importer of bananas. As it produces only about a tenth of the bananas needed to satisfy Europeans' voracious appetite for the world's most important fruit, banana exporters from Africa and Caribbean and their competitors from Latin America fight hard for shares on the EU market. MEPs recently approved plans to make it easier for big multinationals to sell Latin American bananas in the EU, but warned that livelihoods of small farms from ACP might be threatened. On 17 January Parliament's international trade committee (INTA) supported the deal on trade in bananas (rapporteur Francesca Balzani, S&D) reached in December 2009 between the EU and the US, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. Under the deal the EU will gradually cut its import tariffs on bananas from Latin America in eight stages, from €176 a tonne at the outset to €114 in 2017. In return, the other side will drop the actions it brought against the EU before the WTO for infringing the rules of international trade.

Source: European Parliament

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