The first bananas from the Windward
Islands since the area was devastated by Hurricane Tomas will hit UK shelves in June.
The Windward Islands Banana Development and Exporting Co.
The plan includes a venture into organic banana growing and here, Grenada, the smallest Windward Islands producer, will have a bigger part to play than the other islands;
Bananas have been a major factor in the economies of the Windward Islands since the 1950s.
Islands, the bottom team in the competition and yet to score any points, were sent in to bat and reached 124 for seven at the close after rain delayed play until after lunch.
This commitment is not for the short term and despite the damage and loss of production caused by Hurricane Tomas in the Windward
Islands ('Hurricane-hit growers in call for supermarket help', The Grocer, 4 December, p30), we are committed to sourcing Fairtrade bananas from the Windward
Islands Farmers Association.
Most of the banana growers in the Windwards had no crop insurance, and now face the loss of social premiums from Fairtrade sales worth 10m [pounds sterling] in the first half of the year.
Hurricane Dean has decimated banana plantations in the Windward Islands, which supply Fairtrade bananas to many of Britain's major multiples.
In the long term Windwards sources believe that it will be possible to convert as much as 10% of the islands' production as part of a strategy to focus on the development of specialist high margin premium products.
The Windwards has already achieved this role for prepacked small bananas and Fairtrade bananas in the UK.
The Dominican Banana Marketing Corporation, for example, notes in its annual report that multiples such as M&S, Sainsbury, Waitrose and most recently Tesco, which has just agreed to a long-term supply arrangement with the Windwards, are making a positive contribution to the islands' banana economy.
As well as tackling the quality issue, we have completed the introduction of the new Geest Windwards sticker on all fruit, which will allow us to promote our smaller, sweeter bananas to the public, making them aware of the uniqueness and hopefully convincing them of the importance of supporting the Windwards as a source of Supply.
Yorkshire's Adil Rashid also chipped in with four for 19 as the Windward
Islands crumbled to 97 all out.
Banana producers in the Windward Islands have staked a claim to a larger share of the EU's lucrative banana trade.
He said: "Society, supermarkets and governments as a whole have two choices: Take action, know where your bananas are coming from and stop this injustice of piracy, or ignore the matter, purchase the marginally lower-priced bananas and relegate forever the Windward banana trade to the depths of Davy Jones' locker.