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The banana trade

protest bananas

banana poems

letter from the WTO?

Protest Bananas!


by Louise

by Sarah

by Charlie

by Emma

 

Banana poems


I am a banana man
Just about to get the can
cause yesterday I hid inside
to avoid the pesticide

It burns my skin, mutates my kin
I'm ill and poor, I cannot win
my pay is bad, my back is sore
this is the banana war.

by Emma Carter

 


It's raining again
Over the fields of Honduras
It's burning again
Our hot skin is porous

It's raining again
Over the streets of Honduras
It's flesh-eating again
It's fine they assure us

But we don't own the fields
So a cancerous downpour
Falls on streets schools and houses
And we can't save our children

In the fields of Honduras
Nobody heard us
And nobody saw us.

by B.L.

 

Anisha Sharma represents the World Trade Organisation in a surprising turnaround of events!

Speaking on behalf of the World Trade organisation, we think that Europe is authorised to proceed with the preferential treatment of ACP products.

A man called Lorenzo Daw Baker in 1870 established the banana trade, and it continued from then on until the Second World War, when it was bought to a halt. However it was started again in 1950.

There are three major banana corporations now that control two thirds of world banana exports, making huge amounts of profits. Whereas on the other hand there are independent farmers making little to nothing.

The profit gained by large corporations allows them to grow even more bananas, which are treated with chemicals such as fungicides and disinfectants throughout the production cycle. Thus the production cost is low due to large quantities. Another advantage for big banana companies is that shipping costs are reduced as larger volumes are being produced.

Unfortunately small farms in the Caribbean cannot use this advantage, as their production is low due to the poor soils and hilly areas, thus shipping and production costs are high, and due to this little profit is made. It is just about enough to feed their families despite the long and hard hours gone into growing the bananas. In contrast to the large companies who employ workers to work in their huge acres of fields for low wages and long hours.

The money made from bananas is unevenly distributed. Producers only get 5% of the profits, where as distribution and retail get 34%. To see the difference in simpler terms we can think of a situation where the profit is 500, then the producers only get 25 of that, and the retailers get 170. The rest is gone into shipping costs and ripening and processes cost.

The banana trade is a vicious circle for independent farmers who just want to earn a living and want to feed their families, and it's a thriving profitable industry for large corporations such as Chiquita who are set out to make a profit and pay their workers as little wages as possible.

Therefore concluding that it is fair that preferential treatment is given to ACP's to give them a little help in establishing their trade.

By Anisha Sharma

(Chiquita have been asked for a response to this article)
NJ

Links:

Global Issues on the banana trade

Oh dear! the Guardian has the facts of the dispute

Banana link has lots more information

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