Country Profile: Grenada
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Official critical of Winfresh
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – A senior official of the National Fairtrade Organization wants Windward Islands government to get involved in a dispute it has with the St. Lucia-based Winfresh over the sale of bananas to the European market.
Winfesh, formally the Windward Islands Banana Development and Exporting Company (WIBDECO), is responsible for the export of bananas from Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
But speaking on the state-owned DBS radio here, Coordinator of the National Fairtrade Organization, Amos Wiltshire, said that Winfresh is not sufficiently marketing bananas to the United Kingdom.
He said that while banana production is on the increase, the UK market is accepting a reduced quantity of the fruit from the four islands.
“Winfresh is an organization of the farmers, while the farmers invested and helped to pay Winfresh to buy WIBDECO it has become something not for the farmers but actually working in isolation of the farmers.
“The governments of the Windward Islands can direct and straighten out Winfresh that is taking bananas from the Dominican Republic and other countries when Windward Islands formed Winfresh,” Wiltshire said.
He said he was calling on the regional governments to work together with the Windward Islands Farmers Association (WINFA), Winfresh and other stakeholders to secure the market for regional bananas.
Winfresh was launched in October 2009 as WIBDECO sought to re-brand itself and the new entity said that among its initiatives will be to forge new regional and international links and widen its scope to include a variety of agricultural products.
© Jul 2011 Caribbean News Agency, Ltd.
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