A new report commissioned by Fairtrade New Zealand takes aim at the retailers selling non-fairtrade bananas.
The Bureau for the Appraisal of Societal Impacts and Costs, or BASIC, completed ‘The Big Squeeze’ report for Fairtrade New Zealand. In a press release about the report, Fairtrade NZ called for Foodstuffs and Progressive to stock more fairtrade bananas.
New Zealanders are fond of bananas, consuming more than 90,000 tonnes per year, but only around one in 14 bananas sold in New Zealand are fairtrade. The BASIC report indicates New Zealand’s banana market exerts “significant backwards pressure” in banana-producing countries, with small farmers and workers suffering under increased costs of production.
“Fairtrade is key for banana producers because it offers not only a secure and stable price for produce and for plantation workers but it also means plantations are able to improve productivity and quality through the support networks and training provided through Fairtrade,” says Molly Harriss Olson, Fairtrade CEO Australia and New Zealand.
“Whilst we have seen leading European retailers make 100 percent commitments to Fairtrade bananas, this is yet to happen in New Zealand,” Harriss Olson says. “We acknowledge that retailers operate in a competitive environment where consumers are looking for bargains, but New Zealanders would not want that to come at the expense of a farmer’s livelihood and wellbeing.”
The report praised independent grocer Commonsense Organics for its avoidance of non-fairtrade bananas, and asks Countdown, New World and Pak’n Save to commit to acting on the problems faced by banana producing countries.