Discounter is gradually introducing conventional bananas with Fairtrade certification

100% fair bananas: Lidl is the first to switch to new range

Fair trade pays off: Lidl is the first retailer in Germany to offer 100% Fairtrade-certified bananas in southern Germany. Since 2006, only organic bananas with the Fairtrade seal have been available nationwide. From mid-October, the conversion to conventional bananas, which previously had the Rainforest Alliance certification, will begin. In 330 Lidl branches in southern Germany, the sale of conventional bananas starts with the Fairtrade certification.

In other regions, the offer will gradually be extended, the conventional fair bananas will be marked accordingly with a Fairtrade sticker. The company is therefore setting another milestone in the development of a sustainable product range and clearly taking responsibility for the sustainable production of its products and for improved living and working conditions in the producing countries.

100% fair bananas: Lidl is the first to switch over
Jan Bock (Purchasing Manager Lidl Germany)(left), Dieter Overath (CEO of TransFair e.V.).

New standards in range design
"We can't just keep talking about fair trade bananas, we as Lidl also want to act. With the offer of exclusively Fairtrade-certified bananas, we are consistently setting new standards in the assortment of food retailing, something we have been working hard on over the past few months. From October, we will successively switch to 100 percent fair bananas, and our customers will then support the people in the production countries with each purchase," says Jan Bock, Purchasing Manager at Lidl Germany.

Dieter Overath, CEO of TransFair eV, praised the company's decision: "With these change, Lidl once again takes the lead in fair trade in the retail sector, and we very much welcome this step and wish that more traders will follow. Bananas are among the most popular types of fruit in Germany, so Fairtrade products should be everywhere."

Conditions for Fairtrade Certification
The switch to other conventional Fairtrade bananas will be gradual, as growers in the countries of origin will have to comply with Fairtrade standards and will be audited by a certificating body. With Lidl, the producers now have a sales channel with guaranteed minimum prices and Fairtrade premiums, which guarantee planning reliability and enable consistent production. "Only clear commitments from retailers can convert conventional farming to Fairtrade in the producing countries and improve living and working conditions in the long term," explains Overath.

Fair trade has an impact along the entire value chain and in all production sectors in the countries of origin. Certification requires social, ecological, economic and political standards at banana plantations and producers. These include, inter alia, a gradual approach to living wages, compliance with occupational health and safety or sustainable agriculture. The entire community benefits from the payment of a Fairtrade Premium: the financing enables training programs for the plantation workers and the construction of schools for children as well as the expansion of the infrastructure.

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