New and existing challenges faced by the global banana industry will be the overarching theme addressed by the XVII International Banana Convention 2020, which is being organised by the Association of Ecuadorean Banana Exporters (AEBE) in a virtual format for the first time this year on 5-8 October.
Next month’s event, titled ‘Banana Time’, features a comprehensive digital agenda that aims to strengthen the production capacities of banana growers and exporters worldwide in order to improve the overall competitiveness of the global banana industry.
The four-day online convention is open to all those involved in the international banana supply chain; from producers and exporters to buyers, consultants, packaging and logistics operators.
Participants will have unlimited access to online conference sessions with international speakers, exchanges of global experiences, a virtual exhibition and digital business matchmaking roundtables to discuss, learn and collaborate at a time when innovation and cooperation are of utmost importance.
Topics covered include: financing investment for sustainable development, smart technologies, Blockchain strategies, responding to the coronavirus (Covid-19) health emergency, plans and prospects for commercial investment, plus international trade developments, among others.
“As we reinvent ourselves as an association, we have built an event of international importance that responds to the current needs of producers, exporters, and suppliers,” said AEBE’s president, Marianella Ubilla.
“This meeting will allow us to exchange views with global markets. Ecuador is the largest banana exporter in the world due to its high-quality standards. For this reason, we want to strengthen the development of a sustainable production chain that allows us to open more opportunities for everyone, and for the benefit of our national economy.”
José Antonio Hidalgo, executive director of AEBE, added: “Our objective is to develop a greater international market for bananas.
“To achieve this, structural improvements must be implemented within the production processes on the farms; we must promote greater agility in procedures, and generate sources of financing.
“Every day we face great challenges, therefore as an industry we must respond with resilience and unity. The XVII International Banana Convention 2020 will make it possible to capitalise on national and international experiences that promote the construction of a long-term sustainable vision.”
During the congress, trade promotion agency ProEcuador will be co-organising a virtual B2B event for banana buyers from around the world.
“We have co-organised around 10 online trade promotion events with private entities to support Ecuadorean exporters from different sectors and plan to hold more online events in the coming months,” said ProEcuador’s vice minister for export and investment promotion, Verónica Chavez.
Ecuador's banana exports increased by 8.74 per cent between January and June compared with the same period of 2019, according to AEBE. Europe, Russia and the Middle East were the main destinations, account for 71 per cent of total exports.
During that time, baby banana exports to Europe totalled US$16.5m. In 2019, Ecuador exported a total of US$23.5m of baby bananas to Europe.
Those wishing to take part in the congress can register at: www.bananatime.ec