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Two Vincentians to attend global forum on bananas

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Two Vincentians are expected to be among approximately 300 participants the third Global Conference of the World Banana Forum (WBF).

The conference, which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, takes place from November 7 to 10, and will be attended by Kozel Peters-Fraser, coordinator of the Windward Islands Farmers’ Association (WINFA), and Renwick Rose, who was recently elected as the first chair of the Executive Committee of the WBF, and is a founder-member of the organization.

The conference is being organized by the World Banana Forum, a global grouping of the major players in the global banana industry. These include major exporters, giant supermarket chains, trade union and farmers’ organizations from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, European development and consumer bodies, as well as governments and international institutions such as the ILO, the IUF and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.

The World Banana Forum was launched in 2009, on the initiative of several European, Latin American and Caribbean organizations and with support from the FAO, which has hosted the Secretariat of the organization since then. It provides a forum for seeking dialogue and practical solutions to the problems in the global banana industry.

Rose will deliver the opening address at the conference and will be followed by representatives of the host country, Switzerland, the ILO and the United Nations.

The conference will focus on critical areas of the banana industry, such as gender equity, living wages for workers and

sustainable incomes for small farmers, environmental and social issues. Special attention will be paid to the grave threat posed by the dreaded TR4 disease, which threatens to wipe out the global industry.

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