News archive

Reinstatement won in court action, but your help is still needed ... 17.05.2018
Following the campaign we launched in April 2016 in support of nine SITETSA union executive committee members sacked by Peruvian agribusiness company TALSA, we are pleased to announce that they have won their legal battle against unfair dismissal.    The Labour Court in Trujillo ruled in favour of four of the committee members that TALSA had violated their right of union freedom, and also ruling that the company pay the litigation costs and the legal fees of the four. The five other committee members had already negotiated individual severance payments with TALSA.  Your help still needed -...
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In Guadeloupe, going green means going bananas 17.05.2018
Yellow is the new green in the French Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe.   Bananas are the island group's top agricultural export, and there is growing awareness that farming practices need to change as yields drop and damage from pesticide use rises.   Mindful of the biodiversity in his banana grove at Capesterre-Belle-Eau on the island of Basse-Terre, farmer Jean-Louis Butel follows the French government's recommendations on sustainable agriculture.   "Environmental activists had us visit banana groves at night. We saw bats, and 300 or 400 other species living in the grove," Butel says...
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'A fairer share': strengthening workers' voices through Fairtrade, the labour movement and socially engaged companies 14.05.2018
This article about how Fairtrade is working with Banana Link and others to deepen the value of Fairtrade and empowering workers is reproduced from www.fairtrade.net. Photo: A PHP worker at a packing station. Image © Compagnie Fruitière) On International Workers' Day, we celebrate the power that a unified workers' voice can have to drive social change. This is the story of how an engaged Fairtrade business partner and allies in the labour movement worked with Fairtrade to catalyze important improvements for workers at a banana plantation in Cameroon, as part of the company's efforts towards...
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Asda – Sainsbury’s merger: threat or opportunity? 09.05.2018
Banana Link has for many years documented the race to the bottom in the banana industry, with supermarket buying power and unfair trading practices driving down the prices they pay to tropical fruit suppliers, and the consequent negative impact on earnings and working conditions for plantation workers. Or, in the case of small-scale producers, threatening their very survival.    The recently proposed merger between Asda and Sainsbury’s raises the prospect of an even more powerful buyer, able to exert even more pressure on prices by squeezing suppliers even further. Sainsbury’s have announced...
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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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