Letter: Banana islands

Sir: Trevor Phillips' article "Debt relief for the Third World is not enough" (16 May) made some interesting points about developing countries and overseas companies which operate there. But the sideswipe at Geest Bananas was unwarranted. He implies that the Windward Islands are single-industry economies, and that Geest Bananas somehow "rule the roost" in the Windwards.

The Windward Islands have probably the most participative banana industry in the world. Each island has its own Banana Growers' Association, owned and controlled by the farmers. These associations, together with the Windward Island governments, own the Windward Islands Banana Development & Exporting Company, which in turn owns 50 per cent of Geest Bananas. Local farmers can therefore directly benefit from the shipping and marketing of their product.


Chief Executive, Geest Bananas Ltd