Saturday, August 13, 2022

UK Companies Reject Promises, Want Action On Getting Quality Bananas From Saint Lucia

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Saint Lucia agriculture officials are working on urgent strategies to address the problem of poor quality banana exports to the United Kingdom after a warning that this country could lose a significant contract.

Agriculture Minister Alfred Prospere recently held talks in the UK with Fyffes, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose regarding the issue of the quality of bananas exported by Saint Lucia.

“The trust is not there and they do not want to hear every time we are saying ‘We will do this. We are going to do it’, but it is never done. They want to see that some action, urgent and serious action is being taken and this is not about writing a strategy on paper,” Prospere told the programme – Agriculture On The Move.

He said the UK companies want to know that Saint Lucia engages farmers and supports them.

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In addition, Prospere disclosed that the UK officials want to know that the National Fair Trade Organisation (NFTO) is structured and local farmers are ready to meet the market’s quality requirements.

“I was really shocked when I heard Fyffes and Sainsbury in particular say that they do not need Saint Lucia bananas to survive. They indicated to us very clearly that they were getting bananas of higher quality from countries like Ghana, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic,” Prospere stated.

He recalled that people had referred to Saint Lucia bananas as ‘green gold,’ considered the sweetest in the world.

Prospere also recalled that this country benefitted from preferential treatment.

But the Minister lamented that things had reached the point where UK companies are saying they do not need this country’s fruit.

“Just imagine our banana industry collapsing as a result, the negative consequences for farmers and their families -our country as a whole because you’re talking about more than 600 persons currently still involved in banana production, ” the Minister declared.

And he explained that as the person responsible for agriculture, he faces a severe challenge that this country must address as soon as possible.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

14 COMMENTS

  1. I believe our indigenous bananas, the gros michel and lacatan were of better quality than the current tissue culture ones.

  2. Reparations money?! hA,these politicians here more begging to get a title with “SIR” in front of their names rather than ask for reparations..Choops these old fools not ready yet & St Lucia is no longer Helen of the West,it’s Helen of the Wild Wild West,anything goes from murder to corruption….Sad times ahead folks.

  3. Tee white it take 4 weeks to get to UK and another week to unload . That affect the quality
    Then this so call visit to the UK cost the people of St Lucia hundreds of people thousands of dollars as there was huge delegation including security ( who wants to assisinate St Lucia Minister of Agriculture) why can they do zoom meetings to cut down costs .. just like successful businesses and rich countries

  4. Good question…Nobody gives the reasons nore solutions to the issues, just talk, talk, useless talks only, excuses and blame.

  5. Are we actually blaming the government for this? Have you seen any decent looking bananas on the shelves here? The farmers shooting themselves in the foot.

  6. Oh my what a shame for St Lucia. UK companies call it empty promises. Bluffing the people and keep giving them a 6 for a 9. UK companies have already said other countries are cheaper and better quality so if you lose this market the farmers need to blame themselves. And with this man as minister I have no faith that it will get better with the farmers. Good luck though.

  7. thats what yall get for treating farmers like bs,

    if it was different alot of farmers would have stayed but like someone said in the comments the people that have no land for farming are those that landing the big jobs and making more money than the farmers that working hard daily in the sun

  8. your green gold days are finally over. Let them 4ukers find money from tourism that they are pumping relentlessly to subsidized the industry otherwise trash it and build a more robust manufacturing and agri industrues and stop 4king around

  9. Nowadays St Lucia accepts mediocre from all sectors of its society. They deliver and produce low quality even service and always expect or demand high prices for their produce/products. And these are the famous line people in position such as the politicians like to use. ‘We will do this. We are going to do it’, but it is never done and the UK realizes St Lucia excuses and do not want to hear this anymore. Using the same tactics to fool the UK. Wow! It is time we tell our politicians the same thing. We want to see action! They love taking people for granted. People work hard for money and getting poor or low quality produce or products is stealing from people and may times we are mislead or fooled.

  10. The UK people know that this island is knee deep in corruption, stealing, volaire, mismanagement and lies at every corner. so they must be wondering in whose pocket that the money to support farmers from the EU or whatever insitution that the government ran to is going. they realise that it is not being used to support, guide or help farmers. it is going in politicians pockets. continue the rape and pillage of Helen. you people will reap the bitter ashes. cant say I feel sorry. they already tell you, they dont need your bananas. they will throw you under the bus because these people understand how bad and crmininal this place has gotten. actions have consequences and ramifications we cant even dream of. go on criminal lucian governments red and yellow. the chickens are coming home to roost.

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