Retailers working with Fairtrade to ensure living wage for banana workers
Fairtrade International’s 2021/22 Annual Report outlines its efforts to secure better treatment of workers, as follows:
The ability of workers to organise is fundamental to achieving decent work, including fair contracts, health and safety protections, gender equity, and a living wage. While the Fairtrade Standards spell out many requirements for plantations that hire workers, our ambition is that workers have the power to improve their own livelihoods and negotiate their terms of work.
Sales of Fairtrade bananas were apparently stable in 2021 at just under 740,000 tons, with almost two-thirds of that volume organic, and earned a reported premium of €34.67m. But producers have face continuous increases in production costs, especially for packing materials, fertilisers, energy, logistics and higher freight rates, the group reports.
Early in 2022, in the face of depressed banana prices, seven Latin American governments took the unprecedented step of calling for shared responsibility, fairer prices for farmers, and the use of the Fairtrade banana pricing methodology as a reference in the industry. The response to this advocacy will be seen early in 2023 as annual contracts are set.
The top consumer markets for Fairtrade bananas in 2021 were the UK, Germany and France, with strong gains in Austria, Canada and Spain.