News archive

TR4 resistant banana shows promise in the Philippines 12.01.2018
The search for a Philippines banana variety that is resistant to the TR4 Fusarium Wilt disease has been continuing since 2005, and the most promising result so far has been the GCTCV 218, a tissue culture variant from Taiwan. The variety which was brought to the Philippines through the initiative of Dr. Agustin Molina Jr., then the Regional Coordinator for Asia Pacific of Bioversity International, has become the darling of smallhold as well as big time growers in Mindanao.   In 2005, Dr. Molina saw an urgent need for a solution to the virulent Fusarium Wilt disease that was threatening the...
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Union reports Fyffes continues to expose workers in Honduras to agrochemicals 04.01.2018
The FESTAGRO union in Honduras has reported that 13 workers recently suffered from exposure to agrochemicals on the Santa Rosa farm in the municipality of Santa Ana de Yusguarethe, operated by Fyffe's subsidiary Suragroh. They report that after exposure, the workers began to vomit, while others fainted, but company management have refused to disclose what chemical was involved.  At the request of the STAS union, an inspector from the regional office of the Secretary of Labor of Choluteca visited the farm the following day, but spoke only to managers of Human Resources and Occupational Health...
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Fyffes’ suspension from ETI extended but positive engagement recognised 11.12.2017
We reproduce below the statement published by the Ethical Trading Initiative on 7 December 2017:   ETI's management consulted with relevant parties in the lead up to our board meeting of 23rd November.   It was noted that there have been discussions between relevant parties. In addition, Fyffes reported a number of new CSR activities. However, ETI was concerned that there was still not a clear process in place that involved workers’ representatives and employers that could address the underlying dispute.   The ETI Board consequently decided to maintain Fyffes’ suspension while recognising...
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Trade unionists at forefront of opposition to electoral fraud in Honduras 06.12.2017
In the last few days, tens of thousands of Hondurans have taken to the streets to protest voter fraud and escalating state-sponsored violence after the presidential election on 26 November. Trade unionists, including our partners, FESTAGRO, have been among those at the forefront of the protests. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has reported that they have received preliminary information on the deaths of 11 Hondurans during the protests that have gripped the streets since the election crisis began.    Reports indicate incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández to be in the lead...
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Competition law fears deter businesses working together to promote sustainability in supply chains 29.11.2017
Competition law can sometimes hinder, rather than help, efforts to strengthen food security, according to a new report from the Fairtrade Foundation.   The research reveals that cooperation between companies could benefit consumer choice and value, by improving quality, security of supply as well as bringing social and environmental advantages to the producers and farmers who grow the food we eat.   Businesses are often wary of working with rivals to strengthen supply chains as they fear falling foul of competition law. At the same time producers and farmers are facing an increasingly...
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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 27.11.2017
This weekend marked the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which highlights the fact that violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today. To coincide with the Day, our North american Partner, the International Labour Rights Forum has published a report Advancing Legal Protections on Gender-Based Violence at Work which which looks at the scope of the problem and how gender-based violence prevents affected individuals from realizing their rights at work, and...
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The World Banana Forum consolidates and celebrates the achievements of industry cooperation 21.11.2017
The recent third conference of the World Banana Forum attracted over 300 delegates from 42 countries across all continents to Geneva, with all key players along the chain, from plantation and packhouse workers to global retailers, very well represented.  The four-day event was hosted jointly by the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation, the International Labour Organisation and the federal government of Switzerland.    The widely acclaimed success of the workshops and plenary conference demonstrates the growing reach and influence of the Forum, as well as the vital role of multi-stakeholder...
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Small scale farmers and plantation workers look to banana industry gathering to save the banana from extinction 09.11.2017
As the banana world gathers in Geneva this week for the Third Conference of the World Banana Forum (FAO), small scale farmers and trade unions representing plantation workers are warning that without fundamental changes in the way that bananas are produced, the world’s favorite fruit will disappear from supermarkets shelves.   Trade unions and small farmer cooperatives representing more than 600,000 people held a preparatory meeting, hosted by the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF), to develop and agree priority proposals to share with all industry stakeholders at the conference.   ...
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Gender equity headlines first day of World Banana Forum 09.11.2017
The Gender Equity Meeting of the Third Conference of the World Banana Forum (WBF) took place on Tuesday in Geneva. Nearly 100 people gathered to share expertise about and develop proposals for future work to achieve gender equity in the industy.   The Gender Equity Task Force of the WBF has coordinated two previous meetings, in 2012 and 2015 respectively, one multistakeholder and one of civil society from all banana exporting regions. Yesterday’s meeting was the first to be a formal part of a World Banana Conference programme.    The breadth of participation and depth of discussion reflect...
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Generating a climate of cooperation - Banana Trade News Bulletin 05.11.2017
No. 57 | November 2017 Welcome to this pre-World Banana Conference edition of the Bulletin, in which we set out our thoughts on how the banana industry needs to generate a climate of cooperation to tackle the issues we face together, including the threat of TR4, providing decent and safe working conditions on plantations and distributing value fairly along supply chains. We also have reports on how small famers in the Philippines are building climate resilience, our own worker empowerment programme in Cameroon and Ghana, building union solidarity in Peru and the impact of the recent Labour...
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