On the European market, African banana suppliers are going head-to-head against their South American competitors, in a battle reminiscent of David and Goliath. Except the outcome of this confrontation is likely to be the opposite of the biblical story, as the big supplier – South America represented by Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica – will most certainly triumph over the small one, which is Africa and its three main producers: Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Ghana.
Representing 6.7 million tonnes in 2020, of which only 630,000 tonnes was produced in the EU, 75% of Europe’s market is supplied with South American “dollar” bananas while ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) products make up only 15% of it.
Faced with this situation, Afruibana, a pan-African association of fruit producers and exporters created in 2017 and chaired by Cameroon’s Joseph Owona Kono, is once again sounding the alarm.
Building a win-win trade
Afruibana launched an appeal in Abidjan in 2019 calling for regulations to be put in place in the transport of African exports towards Europe.