Finally — an end to the ‘banana wars’

Christopher Werth Feb 4, 2011
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Finally — an end to the ‘banana wars’

Christopher Werth Feb 4, 2011
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TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The “Banana Wars” have finally come to an end, bringing a long-awaited peace between Europe and the Americas. The European Parliament voted to make it easier for American banana growers to sell the fruit to Europe.

Reporter Christopher Werth has more from London.


CHRISTOPHER WERTH: Maybe you didn’t know it, but the U.S. and Europe have been at war for nearly two decades — a war over bananas. Europe buys more bananas than any other market — and had offered benefits to former colonies in Africa and the Caribbean to sell their bananas to Europeans. That angered Latin American producers, many of them American-owned companies such as Dole and Chiquita. But not everyone is happy the war has ended.

Aurelie Walker of the Fairtrade Foundation says the decision to level the playing field may lower prices, but it will also hurt small farmers.

AURELIE WALKER: Our major concern is whether these price reductions will translate into improved working conditions on the farm, or whether in fact it will just create a race to the bottom.

In compensation, Europe’s former colonies will receive around $270 million dollars to help them adjust to a new found peace, and stiffer competition.

In London, I’m Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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