The goals of sustainable development and the reform of the EU banana trade regime: a discussion of different trade instruments
Ideally a new reform of the EU trade regime for bananas (COMB) should be equipped in a way that it makes a long-term contribution to the realisation of sustainable goals, or at least does not prevent them. From a point of view of sustainable development, a trade restriction measure has to fulfill at least the following requirements: it should support those producers/market operators by preferential market access who internalise the real costs of production in their price structure and make sure that the specific trade measures do not contradict efforts on sustainability in exporting countries. Against this background we introduce an innovative model – auctioning producers? offers in the EU. Issues concerning the auction design and its GATT/WTO compatibility are also discussed. In sum, the auctioning of direct producers' offers seems to be a practicable solution for fair trade with agricultural produce from developing countries. However, to enforce the position of sustainable banana production, the EU should also introduce - in addition to an auction of producers? offers - social and ecological labels in the banana market.
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