Corbana's general manager Jorge Sauma

Corbana's Jorge Sauma

Latin American banana associations have given a lukewarm response to Aldi’s decision to raise the price it pays for bananas by €0.09 per kg from 2022.

Jorge Sauma of Costa Rican banana Corporation Corbana welcomed the move but said it doesn’t go far enough.

“We see the Aldi announcement as a positive sign for the industry,” he told Fruitnet. “Regarding the amount, however, it does not cover the entirety of the increased costs we face. But it is a good start nonetheless.”

Richard Salazar of Ecuadorean exporter association Acorbanec said the rise was nowhere near enough to offset the higher production costs.

“If you multiply [the increase] by 18.14kg it gives you in total increase of €1.63 per box for the entire chain, or US$1.84,” he said.

“The increase in freight charges alone is US$1.90 per box, the increase in cardboard is US$1 per box. The cost of these two items alone has risen by US$2.90, so you already have a deficit of US$1.06 per box.

“This doesn’t even take into account the increase in costs at the farm level – fertilisers alone have gone up by 45 per cent.

“In other words, as a concept, it is a recognition of our request for a fairer price to be paid for the fruit, but unfortunately it is not enough.”

“We continue to urge international banana buyers to share the responsibility of paying a fair price that allows producers to continue to supply sustainably grown, high quality bananas to markets such as the European Union among others.”