“One could say that the evolution of the national banana sector has marked the path that the global banana industry follows. Thus, we can consider ourselves pioneers in certain markets that began being marginal and that now constitute strategic markets for the banana sector, such as Russia, to which I think we sold 75 million boxes of bananas in 2023,” stated Kleber Exkart, director of Banana Export.
“If we are optimistic and see problems as an opportunity for growth and improvement of market strategies, the Ecuadorian banana has an important expansion horizon, especially in the Asian and Eastern markets. The basis of that commercial platform has already been established by the pre-agreements that were reached by the previous government. The only thing that’s left now is for the current National Assembly to ratify the FTA with China.”
“This would be an important step,” he stated. “The country must consolidate this historic opportunity to promote economic growth, the increase in jobs, and the generation of foreign currency.”
“The country must invest in research, as the threat of diseases -such as moko, Foc R4T, black sigatoka, and others- can put the production of Musaceae at risk. It’s time we have our own research organization that assumes the responsibility of working hand in hand with the industry, with the academy, and with international organizations for the common good of the country’s banana and plantain producers.”
“Ecuador is the world’s leading exporter of bananas, as such, it has a great responsibility in setting the course for negotiations with different markets, especially its best trading partner, the European Union. We know that this market concentrates the largest retailers with the strongest buying power and that they seek to manage the price policy of a box of bananas so that it benefits their interests, sacrificing producers by wanting to pay the banana box below its production price.”
“We’re facing a major challenge there. We have to show that the country is responsible with its agricultural workers and that they’re being paid a living wage. We must prove that the country complies with the policy of certifications of both social and corporate responsibility, as well as with those that determine the sustainable use of natural resources: water, land, and the environment in general. The Banana Cluster’s platform has worked hard on these aspects, but it seems that much remains to be done.”