Pushing for reform

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Tropical fruit supply chains, especially those designed around both bananas and pineapples, are neither fair nor sustainable. This is because power - and thus the majority of money generated - is kept in the hands of a small number of companies. Banana Link lobbies governments to work towards reform with a particular focus on the need for labour legislation to genuinely enable and promote the respect of labour standards in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Banana Link also lobbies for changes in Competition Law in the UK and EU to reduce the negative effects of supermarket buyer power as detailed in our retailers section. Read our latest research paper 'Competition Law and the New Slavery' which argues the case for a complete revision of competition law.

In 2009, Banana Link helped to found the World Banana Forum, which brings together industry stakeholders to work towards long-term reform of the global banana supply chain.

Banana Link, as members of EUROBAN, also proactively works on areas of trade policy reform that are specific to the banana trade, including advocacy for a differentiated tariff system. Such a system would differentiate – or graduate - tariffs according to compliance with agreed social and/or environmental criteria (see paper below). The basic idea is that traders of bananas (or other products) that meet specified standards would benefit from lower import duties, thereby encouraging sustainable production. EUROBAN and the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) commissioned a paper in 2004 to explore the issue in detail which can be downloaded here.

Bananas: Differentiating Tariffs According to Social, Environmental and/or Economic Criteria by Liz Parker and James Harrison