August 27, 2004

Britons helping banana

British-born citizens of Vincentian parentage are taking actions in the United Kingdom to promote and defend the banana industry in the Windward Islands through the efforts of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2nd Generation (SV2G) which was established last year. {{more}}
That organization is a body aimed at uniting the 2nd generation of Vincentians in the UK and maintaining ongoing cultural, social and economic ties with their ancestral homeland.
The organization is taking its commitment to St. Vincent and the Grenadines quite seriously. One way of demonstrating this is a series of actions in support of the banana industry. SV2G has set up a Banana Action Group which embarked on a programme of activities to lobby for support of Windward Islands bananas and to promote the consumption and sale of those bananas in the UK. The February visit of the Prime Ministers of St. Lucia, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to London has acted as an incentive to spur on the work of these young people.
Since then the Banana Action Group has been reaching out to the Vincentian community in the UK, and has undertaken campaigns aimed at banana companies, supermarkets, local shops and markets, and schools. Currently SV2G is developing a Culture and Heritage Project for schools to include bananas. They have also been lobbying members of the British and European Parliaments to persuade their governments to ensure that favourable conditions for the export of Windwards bananas to the UK continue.
Three of these Parliamentarians will be among distinguished participants in an important public meeting on bananas, organized by SV2G and hosted by the Department of the British Director of Trade, Negotiations and Development on Monday, Sept. 6 2004. The Head of the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Department involved in detailed discussions on the shape of the new European banana regime is also expected to attend along with High Commissioners from the Windward Islands.