Equifruit, Canada's Fairtrade-certified banana brand, has won the prestigious Fairtrade Innovation Award at the inaugural Fairtrade Global Awards 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. Established in 2006, Equifruit has consistently championed ethical fruit sourcing with a 100 percent commitment to Fairtrade principles.
Equifruit introduced a branding strategy in 2021, targeting Millennials and Gen Z consumers. With a mission to make Fairtrade as interesting, followable and loved as pop culture, the brand tapped into trending themes and used unexpected hooks in its packaging and advertising. Phrases like "The Only Banana to Binge Watch," "The Only Banana with a True Crimes Podcast," and "The Only Banana Sharks Eat" grabbed the attention of consumers and retailers alike, shedding light on the importance of fair pay for farmers and equitable trading relationships.
Left to right: Jennie Coleman, president, Equifruit, Lwanda Keya, team leader (flowers), Fairtrade Africa
“The new branding catapulted us into the fresh produce spotlight. We have received accolades for our approach to sharing a message rooted in fairness and sustainability. The impact on growth has blown us away. For the past two years, we have been recognized by The Globe & Mail as one of Canada’s Top Growing Companies. We knew there was a hunger for change and we’re glad that we bet on humanity to do the right thing and support us,” said Kim Chackal, director of sales & marketing at Equifruit.
The Fairtrade awards took place during the Global Fairtrade Summit, at which many producer delegates voiced their need for greater market access and their concern that international buyers weren’t connecting with their stories. “Our innovation has been in translating grower stories into a language which North American consumers respond to,” said Equifruit president Jennie Coleman in accepting the award. “You might not describe your work as “badass” but changing global trade through sustainable supply chains is peak badass. We are immensely honored to receive the Fairtrade Innovation Award, which underscores our dedication to revolutionizing the banana industry and promoting a fair distribution of value along banana supply chains.”