What’s more ethical than only buying Fairtrade certified Bananas?
Maybe learning where they come from
As consumers of ethically sourced products, it can make a small difference if we are also aware of what is behind a Fairtrade label. So, if you have bought bananas with a “certified Fairtrade” sticker slapped on them, here you can find out some of the implications for their growers.
The first thing you should know is that these bananas are all produced by small and, to a lesser extent, medium-sized growers. They are usually farmers who have grown bananas for generations, with difficulties to bridge the gap between the farms and the markets. This means that the growers dedicated relentless efforts to the production, but they lacked the necessary means for marketing the product. By joining Fairtrade Organizations, like ABANSUR, growers can pool their resources. For example, as a large and organized group, they can negotiate better working conditions, share their knowledge, train field workers, … and benefit from a fair price.
By joining Fairtrade Organizations, like Abansur, growers can pool their resources
Imagine yourself as a small banana grower from Ecuador who has spent much of his life farming bananas. Bananas which are sold in a highly volatile market. A global market which does not allow reaching all stages of the supply chain. This complex market structure usually favours the largest and financially strongest producers. In this scenario, it is indeed difficult for small farmers to achieve reasonable incomes. And one of the most effective ways to attain economic growth and global sustainable development goals, is by belonging to a producer organization involved in Fairtrade initiatives.
Hence, growers operated in partnership with a Fairtrade organization, which works to guarantee a fair price. However, buying Fairtrade bananas ensures not only a minimum price but also an extra premium invested in the local communities:
- The Fairtrade minimum price means a reasonable price for the bananas, ensuring a stable income, independent of market price falls. Which is why every 3-4 years prices are revised by farmer’s associations in conjunction with the International Fairtrade Labelling Organizations.
- The extra premium is an additional amount, calculated as a percentage of the volume sold. This money must be invested in improving the social, economic and environmental conditions of the small-scale farmers and their plantation workers, in projects of their choice, such as:
Projects developed by ABANSUR:
1º Improvement of packing houses closures (refresh here what a packing house is)
2º Refurbishment of a local school’s façade
3º Delivery of school vouchers and study materials
In brief, the goal of a Fairtrade price is to create sustainable livelihoods. When you buy Fairtrade bananas, their price ensures a fair income for the growers plus a percentage invested in local projects in the fields of education, health, agriculture, … .
Because bananas do not magically appear on the supermarket shelves, let us consume them in an ethical and responsible way.
Do not let the consumption of Fairtrade products fall (did you know that “Lidl rethinks switch to Fairtrade bananas”? Click here to find out more about) and, if you feel suspicious about their origin, do not hesitate to request further transparency in the supply chain :-).
As you could have noticed in the header drawing of a sticker, it has a FLO ID number. You can click in this FLO ID searcher to discover which Fairtrade Growers´ association is behind. Likewise, you can do with the FLO ID numbers that you can find at your supermarket.