Jose Antonio Hidalgo, executive director of the Association of Ecuadorian Banana Exporters (AEBE), has been appointed as inter-gremial coordinator of the Ecuadorian Banana and Plantain Cluster.
The conglomerate, which currently accounts for 70% of Ecuador's exports and 60% of its banana and plantain production, aims to contribute to the competitiveness and sustainability of the Ecuadorian banana industry's value chain, strengthening its capacity for collaboration and innovation.
In fact, the cluster has a roadmap with strategic planning with the Tec de Monterrey and the entire value chain, which includes fourteen main cross-cutting objectives to be addressed at the national and international levels.
Regarding internal competitiveness, Hidalgo said they would continue to work to decrease the pressure on the banana sector, as it's the only sector that pays a single sales tax instead of a monthly income tax.
He also said they would continue to ask the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) to update the Unibanano system, strive to have a system that unifies the RUC to cross-reference the information with the SRI, and the formalization of the sector.
At the international level, they will continue with the shared responsibility campaign aimed at certification bodies and supermarkets, so that the fruit is paid at a fair price. "We have continued to meet with European authorities and with these actors to change the concept of value purchase," said Hidalgo, adding they want the entire chain to take the relevant methodology, a transparent methodology, as a reference.
"This has already reached the ears of one of the biggest chains, which is something. They have announced that they will take this reference, but it still hasn't happened. We hope that they implement it in the contracts for next year and that the other supermarkets follow suit."