Allen hails Fair Trade meeting a success
The assembly, held on August 2 at the Methodist Church Hall under the theme âProducing quality fruits for survival of the industryâ, attracted a wide cross section of banana farmers.
In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday, Allen explained that a number of changes were made to the agenda which allowed an early completion of the assembly.
âWe tried to be more specific and to give people more time to express their opinions and to have discussions,â Allen said.
He however disclosed that there were a few individuals who were not clear on certain matters that were discussed, but before the completion of the dayâs meeting, âall was clearâ.
âIt went down well because what we did was to try and get the reports out to all the groups so they can go through them and have a full understandingâ¦,â he added.
One of the main concerns raised by farmers was the suspension of the special pack bananas which has been effect since June 20, 2011.
âThe qualityâ of the special pack bananas âwhich is not up to standard at this pointâ was also discussed, Allen said.
âIt not a gratifying price that we are receiving now for bananas. Unless you get the special pack you cannot get a good priceâ¦
âThere are certain criteria one has to meet to obtain that [special pack],â the SVGFTO Chairman stated.
According to Allen, special pack bananas being shipped from SVG âmust have consistency of 85 per cent and a PUWS [percentage per unit within specification] of about 90 per cent.â
He revealed that âat times we reach about PUWS and consistency of over 70 per cent.â
âThere are some trivial issues that we have to deal with. Things that we think should be able to get us up to that level â¦ So we have to deal with those things before we could regain the special pack.
âWhen I said that in the meeting, some people didnât like that but you have to be realistic,â Allen stated.
Among the other matters discussed at last weekâs assembly were the execution of a work plan for the organization, the financial report, national committee report as well as the elections of a Executive Committee.
Following the elections, the eight-member Executive Committee remained unchanged with Philemon Allen re-elected Chairman, Phillip Andrews as Deputy Chairman, Calvin Herbert â Treasurer, Anne Hacksaw Assistant Treasurer, Nioka Abbott Balcombe – Secretary, Deniston Samuel – Public Relations Officer and Gideon Gilbert and Solomon Buttler, the Committeeâs two Trustees. (AA)