News archive

ANEXCO harasses and fires union members - ACT NOW! 23.09.2015
The Ananas Export Company (ANEXCO) of Costa Rica produces pineapples for export to Europe. According to trade union SINTRAPEM (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores/as del Sector Privado Empresarial) its members suffer anti-union harassment, persecution, unfair labour practices and discrimination. This despite an agreement brokered by the Ministry of Labour between SINTRAPEM, the banana workers unions’ coordination body COSIBACR and ANEXCO, in March this year, which committed the union and the company to open a space for dialogue. SINTRAPEM and COSIBACR are now calling for international...
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Banana exports to prove a blessing for Haiti 21.09.2015
The caribbean country of Haiti has just exported its first bananas in 60 years, bound for Europe, under a contract worth a reported €93m a year over the next 3 years.    Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic to its east, a country that ships up to 350K MT of mostly premium organic fruit per year. But despite sharing the majority of the climatic, soil, logistics and trade characteristics and advantages of the Dominican Republic, it is only now that new company Agritrans is attempting to establish a banana business in Haiti.    Agritrans plans to produce up to 450...
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Global Fairtrade banana sales on the rise 21.09.2015
The volume of Fairtrade bananas sold worldwide during 2014 increased by 18 per cent compared with the previous year to  439,474 tonnes, with 43 per cent of that figure produced organically, according to a new report published by Fairtrade International   Although UK sales are more or less static because of the supermarket price wars on loose bananas, continental European demand for Fairtrade has gone up very significantly in countries like Germany, Sweden and France. Fairtrade is now approaching 3% of the world market for dessert bananas.   The influence of its model of minimum prices...
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Dominican farmers urgently need your support following devastation to crops in tropical storm Erika 16.09.2015
Tropical storm Erika has left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean island of Dominica, causing loss of life, severe damage to the island’s infrastructure and untold losses to crops and livestock. The Windward Islands Farmers Association (WINFA) is appealing for donations to its disaster relief fund to support the recovery on Dominica.    You can make a donation to the fund here    The storm, which hit Dominica at the end of August has left at least 20 people dead, 31 missing, destroyed 371 houses, and caused an estimated $612.7 million damage to the island’s infrastructure, with...
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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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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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