On World Banana Day, the Action Alliance for Sustainable Bananas is campaigning for a living wage for banana producers and greater investment in environmental protection. The alliance is calling on other companies to get involved and work together to make the banana sector more sustainable.
The Action Alliance for Sustainable Bananas (ABNB) is extremely concerned about persistent price dumping in the banana sector in Germany and Europe. Today, on World Banana Day, ABNB is stressing the urgent need to boost smallholders’ incomes, increase wages for producers and plantation workers, raise social standards and invest in environmental conservation and the protection of biodiversity.
ABNB’s overarching objective in the long term is to produce all bananas sold on the German market more sustainably along their entire value chain, thereby respecting human rights and promoting environmental protection. ABNB is calling on other German businesses to join them in pursuing this objective.
Germany is one of the biggest consumers of bananas in Europe – because German people love bananas. Supermarkets are selling them at rock-bottom prices more and more, to make the tropical fruit even more attractive to customers, despite the fact that bananas come from the other side of the world.
In October 2018, banana producers and plantation workers from Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica criticised price dumping in German supermarkets. In an open letter, they explained how further price cuts are destroying jobs and how they believe that compliance with social and environmental standards is impossible. ABNB is supporting the producers’ plea and has published a statement.
The civil society organisations SÜDWIND, WWF, Global Nature Fund and Transfair e.V. (Fairtrade Germany) and the companies Fyffes and Kaufland are involved in discussions in ABNB to improve social, environmental and economic conditions along the banana value chain. The German government is backing this cooperation between non-governmental organisations and the private sector. One of ABNB’s goals is to improve living and working conditions and boost wages in the producing countries in cooperation with partners along the value chain. The long-term aim is to ensure that a living wage is paid, at the least. Sustainable banana production requires the costs associated with social and environmental standards to be covered. It respects human rights and labour rights, promotes environmental protection and biodiversity and creates long-term economic prospects for all those involved.