Letter: Banana trade

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Tobias Schumacher raises the question: "When market forces prevail, do not the poor suffer?"

The inhabitants of St Vincent, for example, depend almost entirely on the banana trade. The ruling of the World Trade Organisation that the preferential trading arrangements which have supported Caribbean banana exports to Europe are illegal means that the banana trade in St Vincent will collapse completely. The growers do not have the capital to buy seeds, etc, to grow other crops. It is expected that the people will have no alternative but to deal in drugs.

What we have is not EC arrogance but an attempt to support the poor. How do we resolve the conflict between the profits of US and multi-national companies in Latin America and the needs of the poor in the Caribbean?

The Rev RONALD CHEFFINGS

Southampton

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