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Canary Islands wants to export surplus bananas to third countries

Staff Writer |
The Regional Councillor of Agriculture, Narvay Quintero, has asked the banana sector "to continue working together".

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In a speech to the Parliament's Committee on Agriculture, Quintero called for the sector to remain united, because "it is a key moment for the negotiation of the new Posei," the EU program to support the Islands' agricultural production.

Among other issues, Quintero stated that he wanted to negotiate the authorisation for Canary bananas to be exported to third countries at times of surplus production, when the fruit cannot be absorbed by the EU market, and which normally results in its disposal in landfills or its use for livestock feed.

A record banana production was achieved in 2016, but the surplus volume disposed of also reached an unprecedented level, amounting to fifteen million tonnes, reported PSOE deputy Ventura del Carmen Rodríguez.

Producer organizations are responsible for the withdrawal of those surpluses, which can amount to about 5% of the total production.

Taking advantage of the forthcoming revision of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy and the Posei Agreement, the Government wants these surpluses to be exported to third countries, but not just occasionally and with prior authorization, as is often the case with sales to Morocco, but in a regular manner.

The Executive will also request an increase in the Posei funds, since the European Commission itself acknowledged in 2009 that these were insufficient to cover the excess production costs in the Canary Islands.

It will also demand a specific Rural Development Program for the outermost regions.

Above all, however, it will reject a new agreement to give third countries a period of five years to adapt their organic production to European legislation.

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