News archive

France bans aerial pesticide spraying in overseas territories 07.10.2014
France has recently announced an extensive ban on the aerial spraying of pesticides throughout its territories, focused predominantly on maize and banana farms in the West Indies.The ban was approved by France’s Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal and will take immediate effect.The ban will then be extended to rice and grape crops as of Dec. 31 next year, giving farmers time to adopt alternative application methods.Aerial spraying is said to have become increasing unpopular for some time now, with complaints from residents living near the farms coupled with environmental concerns.In a release,...
Read more
Low cost, low wages 07.10.2014
A video exposing the difference in price between pre-packaged and loose bananas has gone viral with over 2 million hits.Alan Hudson was shopping at his local Asda supermarket when he decided to weigh a bag of pre-packaged bananas in order to check if he was getting a good deal.  Hudson said he was ‘disgusted’ to find out that the £1 bag of pre-packaged bananas would cost 54p if bought loose and left him feeling ‘ripped off’.  Asda have justified the difference in price by saying that the pre-packaged bananas are ready to eat and are all packed by hand, whereas the loose banana require...
Read more
US take Guatemala to arbitration for anti-union violence 23.09.2014
Unprecedented decision could be a game-changer for Guatemalan workersIt took over six years of a tortuous and hard fought legal battle, but Guatemalan workers have finally reasons to celebrate. Today the United States has agreed to take Guatemala to international arbitration for violating workers´ rights under the DR-CAFTA (Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement). It is the very first time in history that one country has sought international arbitration against another for a violation of labour standards.The dispute started back in April 2008, when six Guatemalan unions and...
Read more
Mozambique banana exports increase 16.09.2014
In 2013 Mozambique exported an estimated 100k MT of bananas with South Africa as the principle export destination.    The export of bananas produced in Mozambique earned over US$70m last year, according to Antonio Gomes, vice-president of the Confederation of Economic Associations (CTA) with responsibility of the agricultural business. Mr Gomes said that on a weekly basis 80 trucks travel south with bananas for sale in South Africa, equivalent to 2K MT, thus totaling 100K MT per annum.   As a result of improvements in fruit harvesting and quality, the sale price has risen he said. Earlier...
Read more
Cameroon to increase minimum wage 16.09.2014
After several days of negotiation, the Cameroonian government and representatives of employers and workers finally reached consensus on July 17 for the increase of the national minimum wage.   According to authorised sources at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the minimum wage will be raised from 28,000 FCFA to 36,270 FCFA, which is an increase of 8,000 FCFA. Parties on both sides have suggested that all that is left to make it official is regulatory action. However, this increase is far below the 150,000 FCFA proposed by the 12-union coalition or the 62,000 FCFA eventually...
Read more
Costa Rican banana industry faces pesticide allegation 16.09.2014
Urine samples taken from pregnant women living in areas near banana plantations show increased concentration of ethylene thiourea (ETU) derived pesticides.   Pregnant women living in areas near banana plantations in Matina, Limón, have in their urine increased concentration of a substance called ethylene thiourea (ETU) derived pesticides. A study by the Regional Institute on Toxic Substances (IRET), National University (UNA) found that these women are up to five times more of the chemical than other areas. A long-term, high concentration of this substance may increase the risk of problems in...
Read more
PHP to expand banana production 16.09.2014
The Compagnie Fruitière subsidiary is to increase the land under banana cultivation it already operates in southern Cameroon by 27%.   The Société des plantations du Haut Penja (PHP), an agro-foods company run by Compagnie Fruitière de Marseille, is planning to create a new banana plantation on over 1,976 acres in Dehane, a district located in the Ocean department in the southern region of Cameroon. This information was revealed in a call for tenders published on July 7, 2014 by the agro-industrial company regarding “the acquisition of complete under-tree irrigation equipment”. PHP is the...
Read more
Women workers face crisis in Uraba, Colombia 03.09.2014
Following the strong winds in July that flattened over 5000 hectares of bananas - some 15% of the crop - in the main exporting region of Colombia, some seven hundred and fifty workers have been laid off, many indefinitely. Some employers have taken advantage of the need to lay off workers, says national agricultural workers’ union leader Adela Torres, to lay off women. These women, many of whom are single mothers, are now facing a serious social crisis.“Over a hundred of the workers laid off are women, a far higher proportion than the number of women working in the industry, which is about 5...
Read more
West Africa - EU Economic Partnership Agreement signed 02.09.2014
West African and European Commission negotiators have signed the West Africa - EU Economic Partnership Agreement in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The Agreement covers all 16 ACP countries of the West African region as well as their regional organizations ECOWAS and UEMOA. It seeks to establish a long-term sustainable partnership based among other things on the ECOWAS Common External Tariff and the EPA Development Program, to quote only the most visible pillars. The initialing of this EPA on June 30th will ensure a continuation of full preferential market access for bananas from Ghana and Cȏte D’...
Read more
Pineapple Workers' Rights Defender On Trial Today 02.09.2014
Andy Hall will go on trial today in Thailand, accused of criminal libel by the Natural Fruit Company, a pineapple producer whose abusive treatment of Burmese migrants Andy exposed in a 2012 report Cheap has a high price. He found child labour, withheld wages, confiscated passports and even violence. If he loses and he faces a seven-year jail sentence and a multi-million dollar fine.  More than 300,000 people have taken action across the globe in defence of Andy Hall.The British Embassy in Thailand is sending an observer to the trial, as are several others, to demonstrate how important the...
Read more

Pages