News archive

Erika “devastates” Dominica’s banana crop 04.09.2015
Tropical storm Erika has ravaged banana plantations in the small Caribbean island of Dominica, leaving approximately 80% of the fruit devastated in its wake.   Crisis meetings are continuing following several days of mudslides, landslides and flash flooding caused by the tropical storm that swept across during the latter part of last week.   Speaking to the president of the Caribbean Agricultural Network (CAN), Gabriel Christian, www.freshfruitportal.com has learned the island’s main export crop, bananas, have been severely affected by the ‘monumental’ tropical storm.   Dominica – not to be...
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Stop unfair trading practices. Sign our petition to Make Fruit Fair! 24.08.2015
Did you know that thousands of farmers and workers may have been exploited to produce the sweet and juicy mangoes, bananas and pineapples you enjoy? Their basic rights are often simply ignored. As consumers we have a strong voice which we should use to urge the EU, governments, supermarkets and the wider food industry to ensure that a fair price is paid for tropical fruits that are produced without violating human rights or polluting the environment.   Sign our petition calling on you to support EU-wide stronger, binding rules that stop unfair trading practices. Enable small farmers, workers...
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Labour rights violations - support call for Honduran government to act 14.07.2015
Honduras has been suffering repression since 2009 when a military coup brought its current National Party government to power. The country is known as the murder, repression and corruption capital of the Americas – a situation that has recently brought people on to the streets in the biggest popular demonstrations since the military coup.   Within this context, numerous cases of labour rights violations experienced by Honduran agricultural workers have been presented to the Labour Ministry, but remain unresolved. The Union of Agroindustrial Workers (STAS) has appealed to the Minsiter of...
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Ecuador achieves living wage goal 07.07.2015
In 8 years the Ecuadorian government has reached a goal that no other government in the world has even attempted. In Ecuador the legal minimum wage has been raised to ensure that all waged workers earn a living wage.  The minimum wage level reached in 2015 now permits the average household to purchase a basket of household goods and services. This basket, the cost of which is published monthly, is divided by the average number of earners per household (1.6) and is used as a proxy for a living wage.    In 2007, when the current government came to power, the legal minimum wage covered just two...
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Fairtrade bananas spread in continental Europe 06.07.2015
After years of relatively slow growth, German, French and Dutch markets for Fairtrade-labelled bananas have grown fast in the last year or two, contributing to an almost 10% increase in worldwide sales in 2014.     French volumes shot up by 140% to 19,000 tonnes, mainly thanks to a re-launch of its Fairtrade organic category by supermarket giant Carrefour. In Germany, the Fairtrade volume rose by 50% to reach 51,000 tonnes, thanks mainly to more take-up by the big European hard discount chains Lidl and Aldi. It is estimated that Fairtrade now accounts for 8% of total banana sales by value in...
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Peru organic exports on the up and up 29.06.2015
Peruvian exporters' association ADEX estimates that banana revenues will rise to US $150 million for this year, with an estimated increase of nearly 25% in export volumes. The figures are based on exports for the first five months of the year and would mean the country is close to becoming the world's leading exporter, overtaking Dominican Republic for the first time.   The United States has doubled its purchases of Peruvian bananas between the first months of 2014 and the same period this year.   The average value per kilo has risen by 5% to 76.5 cents. If the current export levels continue...
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Haitian workers mobilise to seek legal status 29.06.2015
A significant proportion of the Haitian workers employed on a full-time or part-time basis in the Dominican Republic's burgeoning banana industry have presented their papers as part of a major government-led regularisation programme, according to local sources. This programme will not only make their presence in the country legal for the first time, but will give them access to the social security system, notably to the same rights to healthcare as their Dominican counterparts.   Although figures vary as to how many banana workers have sought to legalise their presence in the Dominican...
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Latin American union leader addresses GMB Congress 29.06.2015
Gilbert Bermudez, Coordinator of the Coordinating Body of Latin American Banana and Agro-industrial Worker Unions, addressed delegates at the annual GMB congress in Dublin earlier this month. His speech highlighted the labour rights abuses faced by workers in much of the world and by those working on plantations in particular.  "In many plantations, working hours, are still excessively long persecution and sacking of union members, low wages, sexual harassment and discrimination of women workers, and threats to people's lives persist." Gilbert Bermudez cited examples including that of...
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Colombian workers and producers conclude agreement in record time 19.06.2015
Representatives of over 18,000 banana workers and 266 growers, have concluded a new two-year collective bargaining agreement in just 19 days of negotiation. Despite difficult conditions for Colombian fruit on international markets, Latin America's biggest banana workers'  union, SINTRAINAGRO, has secured a broad agreement with the industry in Urabá, the country's main exporting region. The agreement includes an increase in wage rates of 6% in the first year and an increase in line with the Consumer Price Index for the second year.   The housing fund, jointly managed by the union and the...
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Petition to Make Fruit Fair 15.06.2015
Banana Link and eighteen other Make Fruit Fair partners have today launched a petition calling on the EC to regulate and end the Unfair Trading Practices of retailers. Thousands of farmers and workers are exploited every year to produce the sweet and juicy mangoes, bananas and pineapples that we enjoy. Their basic rights are often simply ignored. As consumers, we have a strong voice and can use it to urge the EU, governments, supermarkets and the wider food industry to take action to end unfair trading practices. These powerful actors need to ensure that a fair price is paid for tropical...
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