Bananas are constantly linked to the politics of free trade versus a degree of protectionism, which has manifested itself time and again at the World Trade Organisation, where dollar fruit suppliers - mainly US multinationals - have frequently called for better deals.
On the other side of the fence the Caribbean islands have argued that because of higher production costs, caused by operating within fragmented industries supporting small scale producers, they could be in danger of being wiped out.
After the most recent WTO round, the position appears to have stabilised.
In a reshuffle of licensing/quota arrangements, the market became freer, allowing companies such as Chiquita to gain greater access.
David Read, BG chairman, believes few further changes will be made before 2006 when the licensing/quota system is due to come under discussion.
But the recent shift in policy has produced the first ripples.
Additional opportunities do exist, says newcomer Favourita Fruit, Ecuador's largest exporter, which earlier this year was wooing UK buyers.
In four years, their executives say bluntly, they are looking forward to direct sales.

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