News archive

Ecuador industry says Aldi price is still far from fair 13.11.2019
At the end of the first week of November, it was reported that Aldi had decided on its 2020 global banana contract price. The FOT (Free on Truck ) price reported is less than 5 % higher than the all-time low of 2019, taking the price paid to suppliers back to where it was in 2018, before the German discounter went for a global annual contract. As one of the world’s largest banana contracts, the Aldi price remains one that all players in the industry watch closely.   In a statement published yesterday by the main Ecuadorian producers and exporters on “Fair Prices”, the Ecuadorian industry sees...
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Fairtrade highlights Ecuador and Colombia’s progress in increasing banana wages 08.11.2019
Following years of engaging and advocating for decent salaries, Fairtrade reported recently on welcome progress for workers in the banana sector.   Colombia and Ecuador leading the way   In Ecuador, the salario digno has been established by the government to ensure a just remuneration for workers and reduce poverty. All plantation workers, including those with the lowest salaries, receive at least the salario digno - a decent wage of US$444.62 per month, which is higher than the country’s minimum wage. Preliminary data shows that, on Fairtrade certified plantations, the lowest paid employee...
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Panamanian workers secure agreement with Chiquita supplier 16.10.2019
Failure to persuade Panamanian banana company Ilara Holding in the Northwestern Bocas del Toro province to introduce mechanised bunch haulage, as had been agreed with the union SITRAPBI in its 2016 collective bargaining agreement, led to a short strike earlier this month. Some 1400 workers on five plantations paralysed operations after exhausting the grievance procedures, set out in legislation, in their attempt to get the company to implement what had been previously agreed.    Workers said that manual hauling of dozens of bunches was seriously affecting their health as the weight and the...
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Still a lot of work to do by the world’s supermarkets 09.10.2019
One year ago, Oxfam launched its international campaign to tackle the human suffering faced by the women and men that produce our food – with a call to action for both supermarkets and governments to acknowledge this problem and act to address it. The last year has shown that progress is possible through companies strengthening policies and practices on human rights in food supply chains and governments strengthening policy frameworks or regulations.  However, new evidence published today by Oxfam shows that workers’ rights continue to be violated across all continents, including in Europe...
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Plantation Workers Allegedly Poisoned by Sperm-Killer Pesticide Finally Receive Justice in French Court 26.09.2019
French Supreme Court Attorney Francois-Henri Briard and internationally-known environmental lawyer Stuart H. Smith head up the plaintiffs’ legal team seeking to finally provide damages to the workers of three companies which employed banana workers in Nicaragua and other areas around Central America after alleged exposure to the chemical pesticide Nemagon, proven to cause sterility in men, had been banned in the U.S. in the late 1970s   With a favorable French court ruling under their belts, a multi-national legal team moved today to seize more than $110 million in assets owned by legal...
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African, Caribbean and Pacific banana producers look to safeguard EU market access 26.09.2019
Banana producers from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries last week launched the “Appeal of Abidjan” to defend their interests on the European market, with the aim of persuading the EU to safeguard the interests of ACP producers, in the face of the erosion of preferential tariff rates for ACP bananas.   This follows the recent announcement by the European Union that its support to the banana sector in Africa, to face the Latin American competition, will not be renewed after 2019. An EU aid programme to the ACP countries, launched in 2013, had aimed at improving competitiveness, the...
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Philippines exports booming despite TR4 25.09.2019
In the first seven months of 2019, the Philippines exported fresh bananas to the value of over US$ 1.13 billion, up over 55% compared to the same period in 2018, confirming the country’s position as the world’s number two exporter after Ecuador.     Provided there are no major climatic disruptions, the country is heading to break its 2014 record of 3.6 million tonnes of banana exported. The volume exported by the end of July already exceeded the total annual volume likely to be achieved in 2019 by each of the next three biggest exporting countries : Guatemala, Costa Rica and Colombia.   The...
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Collective Bargaining brings benefits for plantation workers in Honduras 18.09.2019
Negotiations between trade unions and employers have concluded with collective agreements that will see benefits for workers at two separate banana plantations in Honduras.      The Union of Workers of the Bananera Rio Mame SA (SITRABARIMASA) has signed its ninth collective agreement with the multinational company Dole, which, following good faith negotiations, will provide considerable improvements for workers.     The president of the union, Eduardo Min Montoya said “we managed to maintain the medical service, which has been a cause of conflict in other companies, and achieved a wage...
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Banana workers union strikes above inflation pay deal in Colombia 13.09.2019
Colombian trade union Sintrainagro yesterday concluded negotiations with banana producers Augura, which will see 22,000 plantation workers receive an above inflation pay deal in the the world’s fourth-largest banana exporting country.   With inflation currently at 3.75%, and predicted to drop to 3.30% next year, the workers will receive an effective pay increase of 5.5% in the first year of the two year pay deal, while in the second year they will receive a rise equivalent to the increase in the Cost of Living Index. Additionally, each worker who is a member of Sintrainagro will receive a one...
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Dole provides facilities to support laid off workers’ cooperative 22.08.2019
In January this year tropical fruit producer Dole closed its maintenance workshop in port of Limón, Costa Rica, laying off 240 workers. But in a welcome move in an area of high unemployment, the multinational has agreed to loan its workshop facilities to an engineering maintenance cooperative set up by the laid off workers. The Coopesitraco R.L is made up of 124 of the former Dole employees and has signed an agreement that provides them with a one-year loan of the facilities of the Dole workshop to launch its business maintaining and repairing containers, trucks, cargo cranes at the Moín...
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