L’association Bananière du Cameroun (ASSOBACAM)
The Banana Association of Cameroon (ASSOBACAM) ensures the representation and defense of the interests of producers vis-à-vis third parties and national or foreign public authorities.
The Cameroon Banana Association (ASSOBACAM) represents and defends producers' interests vis-à-vis third parties and national or foreign public authorities. Created on February 17, 1988, after the dissolution of the former Cameroonian Banana Organization (OCB) and governed by Law No. 90/053 of December 19, 1990, ASSOBACAM brings together the industrial banana producers of Cameroon. ASSOBACAM is composed of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), the Plantation Company of Haut Penja (PHP) and the Mbanga Plantation Company (SPM). BANACAM is the name of the representation in Europe based in Rungis (France). The mission of ASSOBACAM is:
the study, implementation and monitoring of all operations conducive to the export and competitiveness of Cameroon's bananas;
the representation and defense of the interests of the entire banana sector in Cameroon, especially vis-à-vis third parties and national or foreign public authorities;
seeking financing and development aid from any national, foreign or international organization;
compilation of statistical export information;
the permanent representation of the banana sector in Cameroon to all the bodies of the European Community, its member States, in particular with a view to ensuring the proper application of the provisions of the EU-ACP Convention and its banana protocol, and Regulation of the European Communities on the organization of markets in the banana sector and the implementing
Among the actions carried out or promoted in recent years by the interprofession, they can mention the completion of several studies in the search for lower costs:
a study of the taxation of a few banana exporting countries with a view to soliciting state benefits; this study showed that, following the various approaches of ASSOBACAM, the Cameroonian government has already made many concessions to the banana sector;
study on the recycling of plastic waste to reduce the environmental impact of plantations and provide new recipes: the recommendations of the study are still to be implemented;
study on the taxation of water: the results of the CRECHE study serve as a basis for the steps taken by ASSOBACAM to convince the Government to grant the sector special conditions; the file is in progress, particularly as regards the legalization of the tax base used in 2004;
a study on the communication and marketing policy to make Cameroonian bananas known as a quality product is currently being prepared; it could be coordinated with other banana producing countries in Africa (Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana) to ensure better legibility of African origin in the face of overseas origins.
At Brussels level, various steps have been taken with the help of the Government to strengthen Cameroon's political credibility with a view to promoting the effective integration of the interests of the ACP countries: organization of a round table, several press conferences , the Yaoundé Meeting (Yaoundé Call in July 2008) with the participation of ACP and Community producers.
Several actions, including lobbying, have been under way for several years in the negotiations on the erosion of preferences and the level of taxation of MFN countries as well as for seeking financial compensation from the European Commission.
These lobbying actions with the EU and the WTO must continue.
The organization of tripartite meetings between ACP, EU and Latinos countries or even bipartite ACPLatino should allow to propose solutions to the too long "banana war". These actions must be carried out in close consultation with OCAB (Central Organization of Pineapple and Banana Producers, Côte d'Ivoire).
The association needs to improve communication with planters, the government and the DCE, for example through electronic newsletters or through a more efficient and interactive website (eg direct publication of calls for tenders). and production statistics by plantations) and others, if the means are available;
As long as the discussions on the level of MFN bananas taxation are not completed at EU and WTO level, producers need to have a strong and effective association, through its two offices in Douala and Paris . The producers themselves recognized it during the last Management Committee and pledged to provide the organization with the means (notably by paying their contribution arrears) to allow it to operate on a regular basis. It is also essential that producers speak with one voice through ASSOBACAM rather than taking individual steps that may be contradictory and counterproductive.See more