News archive

Report shows imbalances in agricultural supply chains 25.11.2014
With ten brands accounting for 15 percent of world food sales, and five  retailers controlling half the European marketplace, the risks associated with the food supply chain being captured by just a few companies means that abusive trade practices as well as governance needs to be addressed. Globally, 7 billion consumers are being supplied by 2.5 billion farmers with most of the value of the chain (up to 86%) in the hands of increasingly powerful companies.Fiona Gooch, policy adviser at Traidcraft: “The relentless pressure on  suppliers, degradation of living conditions of farmers and workers...
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Tax on Costa Rican pineapples? 25.11.2014
If the proposal by Costa Rica's Frente Amplio party , Broad Front, proves successful, each crate of exported pineapples will be subject to a tax of 540 Costa Rican colones in accordance with the exchange rate set by the Central Bank of Costa Rica. Local councils will be responsible for investing the income generated into environmental protection and education, targeted at the areas where pineapple plantations are located. The draft bill was put forward by the parliamentary representative Eduardo Araya, who highlighted the great benefits enjoyed by the pineapple industry, and argued that...
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Fairfood report exposes the bitter taste of pineapples 12.11.2014
  A recent Fairfood report has revealed the bitter life for some 24,000 Filipino pineapple workers:     The workers, employed by the two major Philippine pineapple producers – Del Monte Philippines Inc. and Dole Philippines – earn poverty wages well below a living wage, leaving them unable to afford basic needs, such as food, medicine and education. This is one of the shocking revelations brought to light by Fairfood International’s report ‘Paradise lost: the bitter reality behind working in the Philippine pineapple industry’.   According to Fairfood’s extensive research, on average the...
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Public "a-peel" to Asda and Tesco to stock more Fairtrade bananas 11.11.2014
We’re calling on Asda and Tesco to turn their bananas Fairtrade. Consumers and campaigners across the UK are calling on Asda and Tesco to prove that banana farmers and workers in the developing world are not suffering as a result of supermarket price wars, by sourcing more Fairtrade bananas. Tens of thousands of messages asking them to make the switch are expected to be sent to Asda and Tesco supermarkets during November, when retailers typically negotiate supplier contracts for the year ahead.    Bananas are the UK’s favourite fruit – the UK public spends over £700m eating 5 billion of them...
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Andy Hall: a human rights defender who should never have been prosecuted 11.11.2014
 British labour rights researcher Andy Hall was acquitted on the 29th of October by the Phrakanong Provincial Court, Bangkok, when it dismissed charges of criminal defamation in relation to his work to expose labour rights violations. Regional human rights specialist and barrister Mark Plunkett of Brisbane, Australia, monitored the trial on behalf of the London-based International Centre for Trade Union Rights.     Plunkett said ‘this is a good result.  Hall is clearly a human rights defender engaged in legitimate work to investigate the conditions of migrant workers.  The work that Hall was...
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Costa Rica to compensate Nemagon victims 05.11.2014
Banana workers and their families exposed to Nemagon in the 1960s and 1970s will receive government compensation. The Costa Rican government has said that it will offer compensation to around 12,000 banana plantation workers and their families who were exposed to pesticides during the 1960s and 1970s.According to the Associated Free Press, those suffering from the lingering effects of the chemical Nemagon will have their medical bills paid for, as well as receiving other compensation.Announcing the decision, vice-president Ana Gabriel Zuniga said the payments represented a "historical debt"...
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Lawmaker calls for moratorium on pineapple plantations; new tax on exports 04.11.2014
Frente Amplio (FA) lawmaker, Edgardo Araya, along with several groups representing communities that claim to have suffered from environmental and other damage due to pineapple production, have presented a draft decree that would put a moratorium on the expansion of monoculture pineapple plantations for the next five years.Araya said that such plantations have caused significant environmental damage as well as serious harm to the health of people living in nearby communities, and that such plantations and growers have operated with impunity.The lawmaker is also calling for a new one-dollar-per...
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Haiti invests big in bananas 21.10.2014
Two million seedlings of organic bananas are to be planted over a thousand hectares as part of the launch of the Agritrans Project.This project, which brings together over 3,000 farmers from different associations, aims to produce organic bananas for export. To achieve its objectives, the FEPA/Agritrans consortium has modern agricultural equipment, pumps for irrigation, an artificial lake with a capacity of 700.000 gallons and plans to create about 3,000 jobs. The Government, through the Industrial Development Fund (IDF), made $6m available to the developer of this innovative and ambitious...
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Philippines: Government mulls moratorium on pineapple and banana farm expansion 07.10.2014
The Region 10 office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking at a two-pronged approach of imposing a moratorium on the expansion of commercial crop plantations and strengthening upland rice programs to attain food sufficiency in Northern Mindanao. Banana and pineapple, two of the top ten agricultural export commodities, are two commercial crops that will be affected by the moratorium. In 2013, Region 10 produced 1.74 million metric tons of bananas and 1.34 MT of pineapple, most of which were shipped out to the foreign market.Several rice fields have already been converted to...
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France bans aerial pesticide spraying in overseas territories 07.10.2014
France has recently announced an extensive ban on the aerial spraying of pesticides throughout its territories, focused predominantly on maize and banana farms in the West Indies.The ban was approved by France’s Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal and will take immediate effect.The ban will then be extended to rice and grape crops as of Dec. 31 next year, giving farmers time to adopt alternative application methods.Aerial spraying is said to have become increasing unpopular for some time now, with complaints from residents living near the farms coupled with environmental concerns.In a release,...
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