Keen to fight the bad press they're getting in Europe for alleged environmental and labour abuses, Costa Rican banana-growers recently convinced world industry representatives to push the United Nations for a comparative study of plantation conditions in all banana-exporting countries. They're confident that Costa Rica will score high in the study, allowing it to overturn, once and for all, damaging accusations of environmental pollution and labour exploitation in local plantations by conservationists and trade unionists.
Costa Rica and other Latin American countries are currently negotiating their new banana export quotas to Europe for the coming year. Costa Rican banana industry spokesperson J Sauma said the country has once again become the target of a "smear campaign" by European environmental and labour-rights groups. "Coincidentally, these campaigns always start when we are about to sit down at the negotiating table," said Sauma.
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