Retailers must protect suppliers in the developing world by reviewing their policy of selling bananas at low prices, the head of a leading producer has said.

Supermarkets were putting too much pressure on suppliers through low pricing and in their attitude towards supply chain dealings, said Jorge Sauma, CEO of Costa Rican banana corporation Corbana.

"Supermarkets have become a big part of the banana supply chain and sometimes they put too much pressure on, which goes down to the weakest part of the chain," he said. "We feel they must rethink that policy and not press too hard on price."

Shelf prices, which were lower in the UK than in many European countries, should also increase, Sauma added.

This year's crop is 20% down following high rainfall earlier in the year but volumes were expected to return to normal for 2010, Sauma said.