News archive

Land but no freedom: Debt, poverty and human suffering in the Philippine banana trade 04.07.2018
As part of their Ripe for Change: Ending human suffering in supermarket supply chains campaign, Oxfam have published the case study reproduced below, explaining how many banana farmers in the Philippines are being pushed deeper into poverty by the companies who buy their bananas for export.    Bananas are among the most lucrative agricultural commodities in the Philippines. Yet many of the farmers who grow them are condemned to life- long poverty and hunger as a result of exploitative contracts with companies that export bananas. A survey conducted by Oxfam in 2017 revealed that in two of the...
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Dear supermarkets, can we have food without human suffering please? 21.06.2018
Too often the people who produce our food are living in poverty and going hungry themselves. Rachel Wilshaw, Ethical Trade Manager for Oxfam GB, shares the findings of a new report and explains why they are calling on consumers and UK supermarkets to act. The people producing our food are often going hungry themselves. This is the standout finding of an Oxfam report published today, Ripe for Change: Ending human suffering in supermarket supply chains.   At one prawn processing plant in Thailand, 90% of the women we spoke to said that they had gone without food in the last month. The same was...
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Informed Consumers Change Lives for the Better 15.06.2018
This article, reproduced from https://europa.eu/, recognises some of the significant acheivements of the Europe-wide Make Fruit Fair! camaign in which Banana Link were a lead partner.   All too often, making a positive contribution to international development can feel difficult and out of reach. But a project funded by the Development Education Awareness Raising Programme enables European shoppers to make some simple, informed choices that have improved the lives of countless people in the developing world.   “The Make Fruit Fair! campaign was important in Costa Rica and generated positive...
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Banana Link coordinated health and safety training initiative launched in Ecuador 13.06.2018
An initiative that aims to provide health and safety training to over 55,000 banana plantation workers was launched recently in Ecuador, the world's largest banana exporter.    Banana Link, along with the NGO Solidaridad, have produced a set of Health and Safety training manuals, as part of the World Banana Forum's Banana Occupational Health and Safety Initiative (BOHESI), for use by companies, small producer and worker representatives in the banana trade. These are the first manuals of their kind in Ecuador, and by Ministerial Agreement, their use will be mandatory for all employers and...
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Certifying the anti-unionism of Fyffes 11.06.2018
This article is reproduced from: http://www.rel-uita.org/ Due to repeated reports of violations of labour and union rights in the melon and pineapple plantations of Honduras and Costa Rica, in May 2017, Fyffes was suspended from the membership of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). The decision does not seem to worry Fair Traid USA, which last April gave the Fair Trade certification to Sur Agrícola de Honduras (Suragroh), subsidiary of Fyffes / Sumitomo in the country.   After an "in-depth evaluation of fair trade practices and a rigorous audit", Suragroh was recognized for its "social and...
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SINTRAINAGRO – a Colombian success story 07.06.2018
In an industry characterised by exploitation, SINTRAINAGRO has become the most powerful union representing banana workers in Latin America, says Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer of the GMB union (and a Banana Link non-executive Director).    On May 1, hundreds of banana workers from north-west Colombia gathered in the municipal stadium of Apartado to celebrate international workers day and hear Guillermo Rivera, president of agro-industrial workers union SINTRAINAGRO tell them that unity was essential to overcome the problems facing an industry upon which so many depended in the...
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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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