July 16, 2004
CARICOM endorses banana strategy

Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community have endorsed the strategy on bananas recommended by the International Conference on Bananas, held in St. Vincent, June 8-10, 2004.{{more}}
The Heads received a detailed report on bananas from Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, CARICOM’s lead spokesman on bananas, detailing the increasing threat to the banana industry arising from the planned change in European Union marketing rules and the cut-throat competition among supermarkets in the United Kingdom.
The region’s leaders in the official Communiqué from the Summit reiterated the fundamental importance of the banana industry to the social and economic stability of the producing countries in the region and the necessity to take measures to safeguard its stability. They backed the position of the International Conference to secure the continuation of an adequately preferential banana regime in the EU so as to allow the continued sale of bananas on a viable and sustained basis.
CARICOM’s leaders have agreed to the establishment of a technical task force to work with the CARICOM banana point-man, Dr. Gonsalves to develop and implement a Plan of Action for the industry.