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ACP/EU committed to saving Saint Lucia's banana industry

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Contact: Rose Marie Harris

Monday, February 10, 2003 - A leading European Union (EU) representative has pledged the Unionís continued assistance to stabilising the islandís banana industry.

Co-President of the African Caribbean/European Union (ACP)/EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Mrs. Glenys Kinnock, who was part of a delegation that visited the island last week, said she is encouraged that the European Union is investing in programmes and projects in diversification initiatives which are directly related to the need to support the banana industry. Kinnock has been a leading supporter of the Caribbean bananas in Europe.

ďA lot of work will need to be done. You have a big dependence on this one product which I think is the best bananas in the world and you know we British always have your bananas in our shops. The threat from the big plantations in Latin America remains and we will still need to support your industry. We might diversify, we might look for other ways, go to service industry, tourism industry but you will always have a banana industry and you have a niche market in bananas, because they are very special and different from bananas grown in other parts of the ACP countries as well as Latin America,Ē Mrs. Kinnock said.

The visit to Saint Lucia was part of a visit to the Caribbean that included stops in Jamaica and Haiti.

While on island, the delegation met with Prime Minister, Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony as well as members of Private Sector, Trade Unions, Non governmental organisations, church groups and others.

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