The Guadeloupe & Martinique Banana Growers Association (UGPBAN) has complained of unfair competition from organic bananas imported from outside the EU, which are labelled only by equivalence.
Exporters from outside the EU are certified according to the organic standards of their individual country rather than EU standards, UGPBAN pointed out.
“This system proves deceptive to the consumer who is unable to differentiate between an organic product that complies with the obligations imposed on European producers and an organic product from third-party countries that does not comply with these obligations and is merely labelled by equivalence,” the group stated.
“This distortion of competition represents in fact a threat to all European growers, regardless of their type of production, who will no longer be able to highlight the value of their production standards, which are however the highest in the world today.”
The French federation for fruit, vegetable and horticultural cooperation, Felcoop, is currently engaged in efforts to amend this legislation. This week, Felcoop president Jean-Michel Delannoy is holding a press conference with UGPBAN chairman Eric de Lucy to highlight the issue.
“We say yes to a change in European legislation designed to impose strictly the same standards on European farms and growers from third-party countries,” the banana association stated.