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Proof has arrived to support the Ecuadorean banana sector’s claim to be economically and socially sustainable. An 18-month study conducted by the University of California Davis, funded by producers and exporters, focused on the social, political, financial and environmental aspects of production.
The results show that 70% of farms were free from child labour, provided healthcare for employees and a competitive salary. Leónidas Estrada, president of Agroban, “One of the criteria for supplying the European market today is that workers are paid a living wage.”
The study also found that Ecuador’s banana sector uses lower amounts of chemicals than other producing countries thanks to its climate and geographical location. However, as producer and former Agroban president Gustavo Marún said, the study revealed several areas where the industry could improve, such as providing more jobs for women who are underrepresented in the sector.