Germany has now allowed a consigment of organic bananas from the Dominican Republic to enter the country after yesterday blocking the shipement after alleging misuse of a supposedly banned post-harvest product.
The country had blocked the consignment after the fruit was found to contain residues of a post-harvest treatment banned under regulations covering organic production.
However, almomento.net reported that the Dominican Agribusiness Board chief executive Osmar Benitez had informed the president of the Dominican Association of Bananas Salvador Estevez that the bananas were now being sold in German supermarkets, after German authorities recognised the fact that the product – Biolife – does not affect the fruit and is permitted under EU law.
The alleged problem was first picked up in midweek when the first 40 of 300 trucks arrived in Europe.
According to local sources, on hearing of the ban exporters in the Caribbean island had immediately filed a claim against the Germany certification company that they say cleared the banned substance for use during cultivation. They also presented the German authorities with the relevant documentation from the certification company, which has been operating in the Dominican Republic since 1995.
Producers noted that the banned substance, used to treat the skin of the fruit to protect it from developing fungus during transportation, was cleared for use by the certification company after they specifically inquired about its compatibility with EU organic legislation.
Banana exports from the Dominican Republic are worth around US$200m (€160m) a year.