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The first part of the paper discusses changes which occurred in the world market for bananas in recent years. These changes include successive modifications of the EU import regime for bananas (the EU is the single largest importer of bananas, with 1/4 of the world market), innovations in sea shipment modes, increased concentration of the retail sector and the expansion of the demand in developed countries for environment-friendly and Fair Trade bananas. The implications of these changes for the distribution of the value among the actors at the different links of the global chain for bananas are discussed in details. The second part of the paper focuses on banana exports from Cameroon, a value chain representative of ‘traditional’ chains where large multinationals maintain a central role. First this chain is analyzed in detail, then a simple model representing its main characteristics is developed and expected effects of changes in key factors such as production and transportation technologies and fiscal and trade policies, derived.


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