Banana quota war erupts

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The Independent Online
GEEST and the Jamaica Producers' Marketing Company, two of the largest banana importers to the UK, are locked in a High Court battle over their share of import quotas to the European Union.

This follows 28 years of cooperation, during which the JPMC bought Geest's surplus bananas.

Now it is claiming a slice of Geest's EU import quota and damages for previously granted import licences that it regards as rightfully belonging to it.

The JPMC's solicitor, Mave Bromwich of Ashurst Morris Crisp, would only say that the claim for damages was 'substantial'.

Fyffes, the third importer of bananas to the UK, has been waging a similar legal campaign against Geest since late last year.

The war broke out after a change in EU rules on banana quotas.

Since a 1966 agreement designed to protect growers, the JPMC and Fyffes have bought Geest's surplus.

They claim these were credited to Geest, boosting its quota at their expense.