The revision of the Rainforest Alliance Standard and the position of the ABNB
Most of the bananas sold in Germany are certified according to the Rainforest Alliance standard. This standard is currently being revised and is in public consultation (more on this here). The Action Alliance for Sustainable Bananas has taken a very detailed look at the new standard: So far, the standard represents a minimum consensus for all Rainforest Alliance certified commodities, but it will not improve the situation in the banana sector in particular. Although the standard contributes to a more sustainable production, necessary effects in the following areas will not yet be achieved even with the revised standard.
Therefore the ABNB demands:
- Introduction of price premiums / guarantees for producers: The mechanisms that enable producers to earn a living wage and income are not yet provided; wages must be at least above the poverty level
- Enabling a formal education for all children on certified farms
- Protection of biodiversity, biocorridors and ecosystem services: Introduction of “Biodiversity Action Plans” with binding targets
- Targeted use of pesticides: Reduction of agricultural flights and improvement of the management of chemical agricultural inputs
- Improvement of Integrated Pest Management, among others to slow down the spread of TR4
In its commentary on the Rainforest Alliance Standard, the ABNB calls for these essential points to be included in the standard or for existing criteria to be tightened up (the detailed commentary can be found here). The integration of these points into the standard is necessary to actively contribute to a more sustainable production and to make Rainforest Alliance a credible sustainability standard.