News archive

Competition law fears deter businesses working together to promote sustainability in supply chains 29.11.2017
Competition law can sometimes hinder, rather than help, efforts to strengthen food security, according to a new report from the Fairtrade Foundation.   The research reveals that cooperation between companies could benefit consumer choice and value, by improving quality, security of supply as well as bringing social and environmental advantages to the producers and farmers who grow the food we eat.   Businesses are often wary of working with rivals to strengthen supply chains as they fear falling foul of competition law. At the same time producers and farmers are facing an increasingly...
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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 27.11.2017
This weekend marked the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which highlights the fact that violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today. To coincide with the Day, our North american Partner, the International Labour Rights Forum has published a report Advancing Legal Protections on Gender-Based Violence at Work which which looks at the scope of the problem and how gender-based violence prevents affected individuals from realizing their rights at work, and...
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The World Banana Forum consolidates and celebrates the achievements of industry cooperation 21.11.2017
The recent third conference of the World Banana Forum attracted over 300 delegates from 42 countries across all continents to Geneva, with all key players along the chain, from plantation and packhouse workers to global retailers, very well represented.  The four-day event was hosted jointly by the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation, the International Labour Organisation and the federal government of Switzerland.    The widely acclaimed success of the workshops and plenary conference demonstrates the growing reach and influence of the Forum, as well as the vital role of multi-stakeholder...
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Small scale farmers and plantation workers look to banana industry gathering to save the banana from extinction 09.11.2017
As the banana world gathers in Geneva this week for the Third Conference of the World Banana Forum (FAO), small scale farmers and trade unions representing plantation workers are warning that without fundamental changes in the way that bananas are produced, the world’s favorite fruit will disappear from supermarkets shelves.   Trade unions and small farmer cooperatives representing more than 600,000 people held a preparatory meeting, hosted by the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF), to develop and agree priority proposals to share with all industry stakeholders at the conference.   ...
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Gender equity headlines first day of World Banana Forum 09.11.2017
The Gender Equity Meeting of the Third Conference of the World Banana Forum (WBF) took place on Tuesday in Geneva. Nearly 100 people gathered to share expertise about and develop proposals for future work to achieve gender equity in the industy.   The Gender Equity Task Force of the WBF has coordinated two previous meetings, in 2012 and 2015 respectively, one multistakeholder and one of civil society from all banana exporting regions. Yesterday’s meeting was the first to be a formal part of a World Banana Conference programme.    The breadth of participation and depth of discussion reflect...
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Generating a climate of cooperation - Banana Trade News Bulletin 05.11.2017
No. 57 | November 2017 Welcome to this pre-World Banana Conference edition of the Bulletin, in which we set out our thoughts on how the banana industry needs to generate a climate of cooperation to tackle the issues we face together, including the threat of TR4, providing decent and safe working conditions on plantations and distributing value fairly along supply chains. We also have reports on how small famers in the Philippines are building climate resilience, our own worker empowerment programme in Cameroon and Ghana, building union solidarity in Peru and the impact of the recent Labour...
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Cooperation and new thinking needed to save the banana 01.11.2017
Ahead of the Third Conference of the World Banana Forum (WBF) taking place in Geneva next week, Dr Iain Farquhar of Banana Link and the WBF Working Group on Sustainable Production Systems and Environmental Impact, outlines the need for both cooperation and new thinking in addressing the threat of disease to our bananas.  Since the near collapse of the banana industry in the 1950s and the replacement of Gros Michel with Cavendish, a variety which proved resistant to the original ‘Panama Disease’ (as it was then called), the banana industry has massively expanded and made huge strides in terms...
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Gender, social dialogue and fair trade among issues at COLSIBA conference 18.10.2017
The 14th conference of COLSIBA (the Coordinating Body of Latin American Banana and Agro-industrial Unions) was held at the Grand Hotel in San Pedro Sula, Honduras from the 11 to 13 of October, Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer of the GMB, reports.   In attendance were affiliates from Colombia, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Also present were representatives from 3F (Denmark) GMB (UK) Solidarity Center (USA), ILRF (USA), BanaFair (Germany) and two organisers from a new agro industrial union in Ecuador. The meeting received and approved reports...
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Aldi joins the World Banana Forum 18.10.2017
German discounters Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd have both joined the World Banana Forum (WBF) - an initiative that promotes fair working conditions and sustainable production for bananas.   The WBF includes stakeholders from all areas of the industry, including producers, unions, importers, suppliers and distributors.   "We are one of the largest banana traders in the world. Therefore, it was important to us to be a sign in this area as well," said Rayk Mende, corporate responsibility director of the Aldi Nord Group.   "The World Banana Forum helps improve social conditions along the supply chain....
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Gender-based violence in the Central American agricultural industry 28.09.2017
Iris Munguia, Coordinator of our partner organisation, COLSIBA (the Regional Coordination of Latin American Banana & Agro-Industrial Workers’ Unions), recently spoke to www.opendemocracy.net about gender based violence and discrimination in the Central American agricultural industry.    My name is Iris Munguía. I am from Honduras, I am a member of the Women’s Secretariat of the Federation of Agricultural Unions, and I am also coordinating a project at the regional level through the Latin American Coordinator for Banana and Agricultural Unions (COLSIBA, in Spanish initials). The COLSIBA...
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