There’s a pretty good chance that bananas are a part of your everyday life – these tropical fruits are a favorite in our grocery basket and the staple food for millions of people around the world. Our store alone sold 115,000 pounds of these sweet self-packaged snacks last year! The banana industry creates jobs for thousands of people in developing countries, generating vital earnings that governments depend on to improve essential social services and is the cornerstone for many of their economies. However, the industry has an unfortunate history of social conflicts – low wages, unpredictable employment, workers having to handle hazardous chemicals without proper safety gear. Ever-changing climate and weather patterns make production unpredictable, driving up costs of production while prices are kept low so that bananas can be used as a ‘loss leader’ in many grocery stores.
Fairtrade changes this dynamic. When bananas are Fairtrade it means that farmers are paid a set minimum price for their product and that their communities receive an additional Fairtrade premium to invest in business or community projects. Being Fairtrade also means that the farm or co-operative has met social, economic and environmental standard, including workers’ rights. At the Kootenay Co-op we carry only Fairtrade bananas because we want to support the many hard working farmers who help make our smoothies so delicious!
Look out for the Fairtrade logo next time you’re shopping for bananas, coffee, chocolate, teas, coconut milk, and many tropical snacks!
For more information:
Love facts? Check out the Fairer Fruit report
See what Fairtrade and banana farming looks like in this video: