Agriculture, and Food Security and Sovereingty
Negative Growth or Sustainable Development?
Kicking the Habit: The World Bank and the IMF Are Still Addicted to Attaching Economic-policy Conditions to Aid
China Sustainable Development Strategy Report 2011. Greening the Economic Transformation
Political and Institutional Governance
Alterglobalization, a Long-term Process Leading to Alternatives
Small-scale Sustainable Farmers Are Cooling Down the Earth
An Ecological Act: A Backgrounder to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA)
Rural Areas and World Governance
Extreme Poverty and World Governance
Post-2015: Global Action for an Inclusive and Sustainable Future
Marrakech Process for the Protection and Promotion of All Human Rights of Migrants and Persons in Transnational Mobility
Proposal for a Charter of Universal Responsibilities
For Climate Justice and a World Fit to Be Lived in
China: Sustainable Development Strategy Report 2009
Moving Closer toward an International Standard on Corporate Social Responsibility
Mobilize and organize to Stop and Prevent Planet Fever!
Rio + ???
Sustainable Forest Management
Redefining Global Governance to Meet the Challenges of the Twenty-first Century
World Governance of Civilian and Military Nuclear Energy
Territories: Paradigm Shifts That Need to Be Made for the Transition
Seven Leverage Points for the Passage from Economy to Œconomy
Youth and World Governance
The Emergence of Global Administrative Law
Regulating Transnational Companies: 46 Proposals
A Primer on Global Economic Sharing
Another Future Is Possible
Beyond the Growth Paradigm: Creating a Unified Progressive Politics
The Challenge of Environmental Governance
Rio+20: Failed Diplomacy, Feeble Democracy
World Charter of Free Media
After Rio+20: What New World Governance Does the World Need?
With liberalisation of the global banana market and more intense price competition, it has become increasingly difficult for small producers to survive, while large intensive
operations which can keep costs down by paying particularly poor wages and
disregarding environmental controls tend to be favoured. Consequently, if the aim of governance should be to manage the planet sustainably, then current patterns of governance are clearly failing.
This paper will concentrate on those producers, exporters, importers, consumers and other agencies which participate in the dominant multilateral system of world banana trade. As this represents the truly global system of trade, it is appropriate to focus on this block when considering global governance.
Consequently this paper will will not cover all banana production but will cover only that part of it which contributes to world trade. Where exporting and importing countries participate in world trade, it is appropriate to consider both how existing systems of governance work and also how they might be improved. This paper will therefore focus on all those countries
The main motors for the global banana trade are essentially destructive and that pitted against these dynamic and powerful forces are a series of largely individual, fragmented, uncoordinated, occasionally mis-conceived and often under-funded countervailing systems of governance which are left with the essentially thankless task of resisting, with various degrees of success, the negative impacts of a system, whose intrinsic character is destructive to the environment and people. Disturbingly, although some of these countervailing systems do achieve tangible successes, the overall impression is that they are fighting a losing battle in which the daily realities of life in most banana growing areas are continuously worsening, both for banana workers themselves and for the populations who live around them.
In summary, in the context of highly competitive and concentrated retail markets and in
the context of chronic global oversupply of bananas, the effect of the system of
governance embodied in the WTO is to fuel a race to the bottom, in which producers who
pay the worst wages and adopt the least environmental standards will, in the absence of
countervailing measures and systems of governance, destroy any attempts to develop
environmentally more sustainable and more socially just systems of production.
This paper shows some alternative proposals to the current world banana trade governance, among them, at long term: a) Imposing different tariffs on importers according to the sustainability of their production systems; b) An International Banana Agreement; c) The Development of Universal Standards. The paper deals also with the eventuality of a multi-stakeholder process and some possible strategies concerning the actors involved in the world banana trade, namely governments, civil society organisations, bussiness, individuals inside of some of these structures, consumers, and trade unions.