JIS News

Minister of State for Agriculture and Lands, Errol Ennis has said that the government strongly supported the move by the Banana Export Company (BECO) to get local banana exporters fair trade certified and has urged the farmers to buy into the process.
Mr. Ennis, who was addressing BECO’s 19th annual general meeting held yesterday (Sept.13) at the Jamaica Conference Centre, pointed out that “being fair trade certified would involve the whole process of how we conduct the whole business of growing banana as it relates to how we deal with our workers, and the kind of cultural practices that we adopt”.
He noted further that banana farmers and the country on the whole, would benefit financially from this certification. “Should we be successful in being certified as a country and as individual farmers, they are certain collateral benefits in terms of funding that will flow from it,” he informed.
The Agriculture State Minister implored banana farmers to be mindful of the fact that they were in an internationally competitive environment and should therefore comply with world standards. “We cannot impose unilaterally our own views and methods, and so we have to comply as much as we can with what our competitors and what the market is demanding,” he noted.
According to the Agriculture State Minister, “we have been examined by the European Union as to our progress towards being certified as a fair trade destination and we are very mindful that we will be successful in so being certified”.
“There is a long term future for banana,” he told the farmers, “you have a duty to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the Jamaica banana industry”.