Yes, we have bananas ... and now we have Fairtrade!Home » Blog » Hazel Murray » Yes, we have bananas ... and now we have Fairtrade!
Fairtrade bananas have just gone on sale in New Zealand. Although we import more of the yellow fruit per capita than any other nation, we have never had the option to choose Fairtrade—until now!
Fair Trade bananas, imported from Ecuador, are available in New Zealand as of Tuesday! All Good Organics has been persisting for two years to make this happen and has finally succeeded in becoming importers of the country’s first Fairtrade bananas.
Like other warm-climate crops in high demand on the world market, such as coffee and pineapples, the humble banana represents the dynamism of the global food trade, along with its social, political and environmental issues.
Banana plantations are traditionally characterised by poor working conditions, long hours, low wages, the use of harmful herbicides, as well as the suppression of unions. The global trade is dominated by five multinational companies, which inevitably strive to increase profit margins, to the detriment of growers and growing nations.www.bananalink.org.uk.)(For more information regarding the global banana trade see
Since the first shipments of bananas reached European and North American shores they have dominated the fruit stalls; they are now the world’s most popular fruit, and here in New Zealand we import more per capita than any other country.
In 2008, one in four bananas sold in the UK was certified Fairtrade, but up until now New Zealand has not imported certified Fairtrade bananas. Chris Morrison from All Good Organics told bFM that the New Zealand consumer deserves to have a choice. He says there are co-operatives out there which look after workers and communities and set a fair price for produce, and now we in New Zealand are able to choose to support such projects.
All Good Organics Fairtrade bananas went on sale in Auckland supermarkets and shops on Tuesday; for a full list of stockists see the All Good Organics website. These bananas come from an Ecuadorian co-operative called the El Guabo Association of Small Banana Producers, which supports over 400 families in 15 communities. Importantly, the co-operative also strives to support women in banana production, an otherwise male-dominated industry.
Purchasing these bananas in stores supports farmers and communities as a fair price is set for the produce. This allows farmers to provide for their families as well as allow for investment by the co-operative into amenities such as healthcare and schools. And it is the farmers themselves who decide exactly how the money is invested. The co-operative is also working towards producing organic bananas, such as those imported by All Good and Oxfam's partner organisation in Samoa. Purchasing Fairtrade bananas is therefore beneficial for the growers, their families and their communities in terms of security, health and the environment.
Things you can do
- Buy Fairtrade bananas (and eat them noisily while waxing lyrical about their benefits). If they are not available in your local supermarket, request that they be stocked.
- Spread the word and become a fan on Facebook.
- You can also bid for the first ever bunch of Fairtrade bananas imported into this country … last I checked it had reached a whopping $13.50, so get in quick before they go brown!