News archive

Tesco: progress on public commitments on living wages 23.04.2018
This is a statement that has been jointly agreed by Banana Link and Tesco on the progress made against the pioneering commitments made by the supermarket chain.   In 2014, Tesco became the first retailer to commit to paying a living wage to banana workers by 2017, covering sourcing sites that only supplied Tesco. Banana Link welcomed this commitment as a progressive statement of leadership in the urgently needed task of bridging the gap between the actual wages earned by banana workers and their real costs of living.   This commitment has driven a challenging journey, partly because living...
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European Commission legislation to protect overseas farmers from supermarkets' unfair trading practices 12.04.2018
The European Commission has today proposed legislation on unfair trading practices in global food supply chains. The economic power of European supermarkets and their unfair trading practices lead to insecurity among their suppliers which directly impacts the most vulnerable people in the supply chain. The directive aims to protect small and medium-sized food suppliers against the abusive practices of large buyers by prohibiting certain trade practices and requiring member state to enforce the ban.   This proposal comes in the wake of the Europe wide Make Fruit Fair! Campaign, in which Banana...
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Danish Supermarkets stops selling Fyffes bananas 09.03.2018
Dansk Supermarked Group* has stopped selling bananas from the international fruit producer Fyffes in their stores. The reason is the serious violations of labor rights in the Fyffes supply chain, including non-payment of minimum wage and unemployment insurance. Also, the workers and the environment have been exposed to toxic chemicals.   The Danish Consumers Organisation Aktive Forbrugere has for almost a year been in dialogue with a number of Danish supermarket chains, urging them to address the problems at Fyffes. Dansk Supermarked Group has for some time asked Fyffes to stop the violations...
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Improving and increasing women’s employment on banana plantations in Ghana 08.03.2018
Following the success of our programme to educate and empower workers on plantations in Ghana, Compagnie Fruitière, the largest banana producer in Ghana, has partnered with Banana Link to tackle the disproportionately low levels of women’s employment on their subsidiary Golden Exotics Ltd (GEL).     Banana Link and the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) facilitated workshops in Ghana in January with participants from Fairtrade Africa, the trade unions, the General Agricultural Workers Union of Ghana (GAWU) and the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU), the Fairtrade premium...
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Colombia: no guns, no drugs, no atrocities, no rape, no murder. Just bananas… 02.03.2018
Colombia’s farmers can hope again after bloody decades of civil war – but they’re not relying on politicians to help them Tim Adams Sun 25 Feb 2018 08.30 GMT (Reproduced from https://www.theguardian.com)    Barrio Obrero, Santa Marta, Colombia. Photograph: Ian Berry/Magnum Photos   Don José Manuel Suarez has seen some things. Father of seven and grandfather of 15, his 80 years have been spent farming a patch of land that has also been a battleground in the longest civil war in modern history. At an outdoor meeting of a co-operative of banana farmers in Ciénaga, near the northern Caribbean...
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Continuing reports of anti-union practices and health & safety violations, while Fyffes' ETI suspension extended 27.02.2018
The UK Government's Ethical Trading Initiative announced earlier this month that Fyffes suspension from the ETI as a result of a complaint from Banana Link and the International Unuion of Foodworkers (IUF) would remain in force, while discussions between Fyffes and the IUF continued.    In the meantime, we have continued to receive reports of anti-trade union activities and health & safety violations at Fyffes subsidiaries in Costa Rica and Honduras.   Anexco (Costa Rica)   Costa Rican trade union SINTRAPEM (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores/as del Sector Privado Empresarial) and union...
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Pushing for More Gender Equity in the Banana Sector 22.02.2018
An interview with Silvia Campos, Global Product Manager for Bananas at Fairtrade International and a member of the Gender Equity Task Force of the World Banana Forum. (Reproduced from www.fairtrade.net)   Like in other agricultural sectors, women employed in the banana industry are especially vulnerable to labour abuses such as lower salaries and discrimination in the workplace. For instance, women are more likely to suffer sexual harassment in the workplace, can be sacked for being pregnant and often do not enjoy ante or post-natal maternity rights.   In Fairtrade certified banana producer...
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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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