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Banana producers continue to urge European supermarkets to adopt fair trade practices

Two months after its last call, Ecuador's Banana and Plantain Cluster, along with unions from Colombia, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and Peru, issued on May 23 a new statement urging European supermarket chains and discount stores to adopt fair trade practices. They ask supermarkets and discount stores to consider the environmental and labor sustainability efforts of producing countries, including Ecuador, when calculating the fair price of bananas.

Producers express concern about the lack of response from European retailers and reiterate the need to modify internal policies that impose additional burdens on production. The negative impact of these practices on the regional banana sector had already been exposed at the FAO World Banana Forum's Fourth Global Conference in Rome, with no significant changes observed to date by European supermarkets.

"To date, supermarkets and discount stores continue carrying out practices that seriously harm the present and future sustainability of the banana sector. They haven't adopted the fair trade methodology to calculate the fair price, considering sustainability efforts in environmental and labor matters. Instead, they have continued with predatory pricing practices, like in the case of Kaufland (Germany) and Eurospin (Italy), which have been denounced by the unions that subscribe to this communication," the Cluster stated.

The unions regretted that these practices demonstrate that there is no real commitment by supermarkets and discount stores to improve the current conditions of the industry to achieve sustainability. "They make statements without content to distract us all from their main objective: to continue offering a banana of the highest quality at minimal prices, creating an endless cycle in which banana producers and exporters will continue to be affected in the long term by low prices and high levels of unilaterally imposed requirements that only the Latin American industry shoulder."

Banana producers in the region call on European supermarkets and discount stores to adopt a shared responsibility in the supply chain, looking for solutions that allow them to achieve a fairer and more sustainable trade.


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