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Rewe: Improving living conditions and supporting the environment by buying bananas

A large proportion of the bananas sold in Germany are being shipped from Central and South America. The social and ecological standards are often low. REWE wants to change this: The REWE Group Banana-Fund is supporting social and ecological projects in Costa Rica and Panama, to improve the conditions of life, work and environment in their plantations. Between August 14th and 26th, customers of REWE and nahkauf can do their part in this charity: For every sold kilogram of bananas, 10 cents are donated to the fund.

The REWE Group has been supporting the sustainable production of bananas since 2007, by financing local projects in the producing countries. Since 2013 they have been using the banana fund. They have provided more than 1.5 million Euros thus far, to promote ecological and social projects which help to improve the situation on-site. The focus is on education and youth work, medical supply, infrastructure and biodiversity. The criteria for a sponsorship through the Banana-Fund are chosen by representatives of local, non-government organizations (civil society, environmental groups, employee representations), together with the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH and the REWE Group.

Local organizations can sign up their project ideas by applying to tenders, which are held by the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation / International Service (GIZ-IS) GmbH. The proposals are evaluated according to the chosen selection criteria and then audited and granted by a board of representatives of Chiquita, Dole, Fyffes, Caritas Costa Rica and the REWE Group. Implemented measures are then supervised and controlled by the GIZ-IS on site. 

14 projects have already been completed, 11 are currently being put into practice, and 16 projects are being planned. In Waldeck, Costa Rica, the health care center has been renovated and expanded. New medical equipment is ensuring that the local population can be examined and treated. New equipment was provided for the dental clinic Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, Costa Rica. The treatment of the 20.000 residents of the town and surrounding communities is now guaranteed. In the town of La Colonia, a pumping station was built, to provide inhabitants with fresh drinking water. Waldeck and La Perlita now offer sports, education and other activities for children and youths. To prevent endangered turtles from going extinct, one of the projects is committed to building enclosures to protect turtle nests and eggs in San San Pond Sak, Panama.

During the duration of the campaign, money is donated for every kilogram of bananas regardless of the brand. REWE, for example, is offering bananas from their store-brand "REWE Beste Wahl" with a blue and white PRO PLANET label. The label is a reliable aid for consumers who want to do something for the environment and the social sustainability of their products. For PRO PLANET bananas, REWE is using a certificate of producers which are Rainforest Alliance Certified according to the SAN-Standard for sustainable agriculture. This accreditation on the highest level is a requirement to receive the PRO PLANET label. Other criteria have to be met as well.

Source: Rewe Group

Publication date: 8/14/2017


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