News archive

Rainforest Alliance and the Discount Supermarkets: Low Prices and Easy Standards? 28.09.2016
Banana Link, as members of the Europe-wide Make Fruit Fair! Campaign, have published a report evaluating Rainforest Alliance (RA) certification in the light of recent moves by discount supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl to source tropical fruit from RA certified suppliers.    The report - Rainforest Alliance and the Discount Supermarkets: Low Prices and Easy Standards? – looks at the standards and verification systems used by RA and at the realities of daily life on RA certified banana, pineapple and tea plantations, and concludes that RA certification cannot guarantee sustainability at the same...
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Sentenced for reporting human rights abuses in the Thai fruit industry – support Andy Hall! 22.09.2016
As an organisation that for 20 years has documented and raised awareness of human rights abuses in tropical fruit production, Banana Link is shocked at conviction in Thailand of Andy Hall for criminal defamation.    British labour rights activist Andy Hall has been sentenced to a three year suspended jail term and a fine after being found guilty of defaming a Thai pineapple wholesaler that supplies the European Union.   The suspended sentence means he is unlikely to serve any time in jail but the ruling in Bangkok sets a frightening precedent for activists and NGOs working on labour rights...
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High court reverses moratorium on pineapple growing in Los Chiles, Costa Rica 14.09.2016
Costa Rica’s high court has once again denied the right of local governments to declare a moratorium on pineapple production within their jurisdictions, this time in the northern border municipality of Los Chiles.   Decrying contaminated water and exploitation of migrant labor, a coalition of environmental groups and politicians recently came together to successfully lobby the municipality of Los Chiles to pass a five-year moratorium on granting permits for pineapple production in the Alajuela canton, located just south of the Nicaraguan border.   The National Chamber of Pineapple Producers (...
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Historic agreement reached between unions and producers in Peru 22.08.2016
On 15th August, a framework agreement on trade union rights and sectoral dialogue was signed by seven banana producers’ associations and the main trade union in the sector, SITAG. This comes after several years of conflict between some of the associations and the union, and is the result of a long process mediated by COLSIBA, Fairtrade International, the Peruvian Fair Trade Producer Coordinating Body and Banana Link.   Reaching this agreement is a major step forward for the producers and the workers and provides the basis for a fair sharing of the wealth created by the organic banana export...
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Costa Rican local council votes moratorium on pineapple expansion 10.08.2016
In July, the local authority of the Los Chiles district in Northern Costa Rica, voted a five-year moratorium on new pineapple farms. During the five-year period the council will conduct studies on the impact of monoculture pineapple production on the district’s water resources, as well as on local biological diversity and on social development.  The unanimous vote came after a long campaign by local people affected by the negative impacts of the rapid pineapple expansion. The local campaign had mobilised support from environmental organisations and the trade union SITRAP, some of whose...
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Dole Phillippines forced to close operations 09.08.2016
Dole Philippines has closed its banana operations in three municipalities on the island of Mindanao, according to local press reports. The Manila Bulletin reported security concerns had prompted the decision in Surigao del Sur, affecting at least 400 jobs in the municipalities of Tagbina, Tago and Barobo.  The newspaper reported Stanfilco closed its operations after 18 incidents of harassment from “armed lawless groups”, which set fire to container trucks filled with fresh bananas on several occasions.  Website Inquirer.net reported the attacks were conducted by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels...
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First 10,021 signatures in our campaign prompts promising response from Lidl, but it's not enough 25.07.2016
Make Fruit Fair! partner Oxfam Germany, together with activists from Ecuador and Costa Rica, handed-over the first 10,021 signatures in our campaign asking Lidl to play fair by tropical fruit workers in their supply chains.   Following the handover, Make Fruit Fair! campaigners met with Lidl, who admitted that the working conditions in the pineapple production in Costa Rica and in the banana industry in Ecuador must be improved. These working conditions had been documented in Oxfam's recent report, Sweet Fruit, Bitter Truth. Lidl agreed to discuss the labour rights violations of its supplier...
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Banana workers' Farm Co-op in Cameroon needs your support! 04.07.2016
Inspired by a recent Banana Link training programme delivered to banana plantation workers in Cameroon, members of the Fako Agricultural Workers Union have set up their own co-operative farm, with the aim of improving their living standards, creating jobs for male and female Cameroonians at large and also to alleviate poverty.    With 500 members, most of whom are workers of the Cameroon Development Corporation Banana group, the co-op has built a poultry barn and a piggery which hold an average of 2000 birds and 50 piglets respectively. The co-operative currently has a labour force of six -...
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Only few places where organic bananas can be grown 28.06.2016
Unlike conventional bananas, which are relatively easy to grow in many tropical areas, organic bananas must be cultivated in very specific conditions, and this is only possible in a few regions. Colima, Mexico, is one of those regions with the right microclimate, and Tropical Organic Growers is a company devoted to the cultivation and export of organic tropical fruits, especially bananas.   Organic bananas "Bananas need plenty of water, about 3,000 mm of water per year, which they can easily get in the tropics. However, if you want to grow organic bananas, it is impossible to do it in such...
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Phasing out Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) in Costa Rica 09.06.2016
The small Central American country of Costa Rica has one of the highest intensities of pesticide use in the world, despite its renown for being a peaceful, ecofriendly tourist destination, rich in biodiversity. Pesticide imports have risen steeply during the past three decades, many of the pesticides used being highly hazardous in terms of acute toxicity, chronic health effects and/or environmental contamination. The fungicide mancozeb, for example, forms the highest volume of pesticide imports and is used intensively in banana and pineapple cultivation, sometimes via aerial spraying.   A new...
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