Former Chiquita director, Franklin Ginus, started BeFrank 18 months ago. The aim was to begin a banana revolution where bananas would be fairly traded. But, according to Franklin, BeFrank hasn't yet broken through. Not in 2021, and not at Dutch supermarkets. "We put all the proposals and prices forward to the retailers. However, for next year, they've still chosen to continue with their current policies. They consider current sustainability policies to be sufficient."
But Franklin isn't giving up yet. "We're not doing this for ourselves, after all. Poverty and total environmental exhaustion are unacceptable. We want everyone in the banana chain to earn a fair living. The Fair Trade label is a nice first step, but it's not enough. We don't believe supermarkets should hide behind a certificate. Then they give the impression that everything's under control."
"I definitely expected more interest from Germany and in the organic channel for this True Price principle. Fortunately, we're working with parties that are willing to take a step forward. Our BeFrank bananas are available, for example, at the Crisp online supermarket. They're going for €2,49 for five pieces and are selling very well."
"This platform was launched two years ago and is experiencing tremendous growth. Greengrocers are also continuing to embrace our concept. So, luckily, there are already heroes who've joined our banana revolution. We're enormously proud of that - they're taking responsibility," continues Ginus.
"The general feedback is that shoppers aren't willing to pay more for bananas. I think that's nonsense. Maybe not everyone wants to pay more, but there are definitely those who will. We've tested this extensively. The big question remains. Which large supermarket is going to take the first step? That's quite something; bananas bring in quite a lot of money. But, it's not solely up to the supermarkets. Banana exporters can also make a statement - they can refuse to deliver below a certain price."
"So, we're enthusiastically continuing with our mission. We want to set up a chain in which yields are distributed fairly and transparently. We want to help small-scale farmers and workers in the production chain. They must be able to earn a decent living. The abuses in the banana industry can be tackled and solved. That's if we work together," concludes Franklin.