News archive

African workers’ voice stronger and united 26.07.2018
After five years of efforts to bring together the different organisations in the three main African banana exporting countries, the trade unions came together last week in Abidjan affirming that the voice of African workers is increasingly strong and united. Whilst significant progress for workers has been made, there is still much to do.   The International Union of Food workers (IUF), with the support of Banana Link, successfully facilitated the launch of the African Network of Women and Men Banana Workers in 2013 at Limbé in Cameroon. With valuable support from the German Friedrick Ebert...
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Bananas have died out once before – don’t let it happen again 23.07.2018
By Jackie Turner, an environmental scientist and journalist, currently crowdfunding for the film provisionally titled 'Bananageddon'. You probably take bananas for granted. In the United Kingdom, one in four pieces of fruit consumed is a banana and, on average, each Briton eats 10 kg of bananas per year; in the United States, that’s 12 kg, or up to 100 bananas. When I ask people, most seem to think bananas grow on trees. But they don’t, in either the literal or the figurative sense: in fact, they’re in danger of extinction. I knew almost nothing about bananas when I landed in Costa Rica in...
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Promoting training and job placement of young people in banana production in Colombia 06.07.2018
  The national president of Sintrainagro, Guillermo Rivera, recently delivered the certificates to young people who participated in the project "It's my turn" that promotes training and job placement of young people in banana production as well as the replenishment of union activists.   The event was attended, in addition to the leaders of the different sections, members of the National Board of Directors, the mayor of Apartadó, Eliécer Arteaga, and the director of the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Colombia (CUT), Diógenes Orjuela.   "On behalf of the National Board of Directors and all...
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Land but no freedom: Debt, poverty and human suffering in the Philippine banana trade 04.07.2018
As part of their Ripe for Change: Ending human suffering in supermarket supply chains campaign, Oxfam have published the case study reproduced below, explaining how many banana farmers in the Philippines are being pushed deeper into poverty by the companies who buy their bananas for export.    Bananas are among the most lucrative agricultural commodities in the Philippines. Yet many of the farmers who grow them are condemned to life- long poverty and hunger as a result of exploitative contracts with companies that export bananas. A survey conducted by Oxfam in 2017 revealed that in two of the...
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Dear supermarkets, can we have food without human suffering please? 21.06.2018
Too often the people who produce our food are living in poverty and going hungry themselves. Rachel Wilshaw, Ethical Trade Manager for Oxfam GB, shares the findings of a new report and explains why they are calling on consumers and UK supermarkets to act. The people producing our food are often going hungry themselves. This is the standout finding of an Oxfam report published today, Ripe for Change: Ending human suffering in supermarket supply chains.   At one prawn processing plant in Thailand, 90% of the women we spoke to said that they had gone without food in the last month. The same was...
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Informed Consumers Change Lives for the Better 15.06.2018
This article, reproduced from https://europa.eu/, recognises some of the significant acheivements of the Europe-wide Make Fruit Fair! camaign in which Banana Link were a lead partner.   All too often, making a positive contribution to international development can feel difficult and out of reach. But a project funded by the Development Education Awareness Raising Programme enables European shoppers to make some simple, informed choices that have improved the lives of countless people in the developing world.   “The Make Fruit Fair! campaign was important in Costa Rica and generated positive...
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Banana Link coordinated health and safety training initiative launched in Ecuador 13.06.2018
An initiative that aims to provide health and safety training to over 55,000 banana plantation workers was launched recently in Ecuador, the world's largest banana exporter.    Banana Link, along with the NGO Solidaridad, have produced a set of Health and Safety training manuals, as part of the World Banana Forum's Banana Occupational Health and Safety Initiative (BOHESI), for use by companies, small producer and worker representatives in the banana trade. These are the first manuals of their kind in Ecuador, and by Ministerial Agreement, their use will be mandatory for all employers and...
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Certifying the anti-unionism of Fyffes 11.06.2018
This article is reproduced from: http://www.rel-uita.org/ Due to repeated reports of violations of labour and union rights in the melon and pineapple plantations of Honduras and Costa Rica, in May 2017, Fyffes was suspended from the membership of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). The decision does not seem to worry Fair Traid USA, which last April gave the Fair Trade certification to Sur Agrícola de Honduras (Suragroh), subsidiary of Fyffes / Sumitomo in the country.   After an "in-depth evaluation of fair trade practices and a rigorous audit", Suragroh was recognized for its "social and...
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SINTRAINAGRO – a Colombian success story 07.06.2018
In an industry characterised by exploitation, SINTRAINAGRO has become the most powerful union representing banana workers in Latin America, says Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer of the GMB union (and a Banana Link non-executive Director).    On May 1, hundreds of banana workers from north-west Colombia gathered in the municipal stadium of Apartado to celebrate international workers day and hear Guillermo Rivera, president of agro-industrial workers union SINTRAINAGRO tell them that unity was essential to overcome the problems facing an industry upon which so many depended in the...
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Reinstatement won in court action, but your help is still needed ... 17.05.2018
Following the campaign we launched in April 2016 in support of nine SITETSA union executive committee members sacked by Peruvian agribusiness company TALSA, we are pleased to announce that they have won their legal battle against unfair dismissal.    The Labour Court in Trujillo ruled in favour of four of the committee members that TALSA had violated their right of union freedom, and also ruling that the company pay the litigation costs and the legal fees of the four. The five other committee members had already negotiated individual severance payments with TALSA.  Your help still needed -...
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