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 the continent's biggest market. In the Netherlands, the volume also rose above the global average to 20,000 tonnes.
Overall in 2014, global sales of the Fairtrade banana brand reached over 400,000 tonnes for the first time, with the British and Swiss markets still leading in terms of market share with around 30% and over 50% of total banana value in their respective markets. At global level, around one banana in 40 is Fairtrade labelled.
There are now a total of 113 certified producer organisations in 12 countries of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, 50 of which are plantations. However, 70% of sales still come from small producer organisations. Around one third are also certified organic.
A recent report detailing areas cultivated, proportion of sales sold as Fairtrade and premium expenditure can be consulted here.
Sources : FLD Hebdo, fruchthandel.de, maxhavelaar.nl and Fairtrade International.