News archive

Innovative Customs project for bio-bananas 03.02.2017
Following the success of an innovative Customs project in the port of Antwerp for smoother imports of bio-bananas, i.e. bananas grown organically without the use of pesticides or other chemicals, a digital "bio-certificate" will be introduced EU-wide as of April 2017.   A highly advanced EU pilot project was recently rolled out in the port of Antwerp, more specifically in the BNFW fruit terminal, in which the Customs service played a prominent role. In this leading fruit port the possibilities were trialled for replacing the paper bio-certificate with a more reliable and above all faster...
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18 banana plantations suspended in Laos 03.02.2017
Authorities in the northern Lao province of Bokeo suspended the operations of 18 Chinese-backed banana plantations after they discovered widespread violations of the regulations governing the use of agricultural chemicals, government officials told RFA's Lao Service.   “It has been a problem for the environment as the Chinese companies destroy the environment with their heavy use of chemicals,” a provincial official told RFA’s Lao Service.   The companies have also planted banana trees in areas where they aren’t permitted, the official said.   “The Chinese investors also plant outside of the...
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Freedom and fairness for Fyffes workers! - ACT NOW 20.01.2017
A global Alliance of unions and civil society organisations, including Banana Link, is calling on Fyffes - the number one importer of bananas to Europe, and among the largest global marketer for Supersweet pineapples and winter season melons - to respect the rights of workers in its global supply chains. Serious abuses of labour rights in Costa Rica and Honduras Since the summer of 2015, the Make Fruit Fair! campaign has collected evidence of very serious violations of core labour standards at specific Fyffes' subsidiaries, including failure to pay minimum wages and social insurance (an...
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Fyffes Chairman, David McCann, completely indifferent to workers’ plight as sale of company to Sumitomo nets him 90 million Euros at EGM in Dublin 16.01.2017
GMB and Banana Link condemn the “unacceptable face of globalisation”   Protesters from Dublin Trade Council, ICTU, GMB and Banana Link today called on Fyffes to respect the rights of their workers, including minimum wage and social security contributions, in Central America before the EGM rubber stamped the sale of the company to Japanese firm, Sumitomo.   However, when approached by Jacqui Mackay from Banana Link and Bert Schouwenburg of GMB before the meeting, Fyffes Chairman, David McCann, said that he “would not address the issue”, even though he personally stood to earn some 90 million...
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GMB –IUF –Banana Link protest at Dublin’s Ballsbridge Hotel for Fyffes EGM on Monday, January 16th at 9.30am 13.01.2017
Fyffes must repay the money they have stolen from their workers in Central America and enter into meaningful negotiations with their union representatives, say protesters   GMB, Britain’s General Union; IUF, the International Union of Foodworkers and Banana Link will stage a protest at Fyffes extraordinary general meeting for shareholders to discuss the sale of the company to Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Pembroke Road, Dublin at 9.30 on Monday, January 16th.    The protesters will demand that Fyffes reinstate the workers they have sacked and blacklisted for...
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EU Parliament ratifies Ecuador trade deal 04.01.2017
The European Parliament has approved the Protocol of Accession of Ecuador to the EU’s trade agreement with Colombia and Peru, with a 544-114 majority. banana_66284746   The long-awaited trade deal is expected to drive an increase in banana exports to the region.    Fellow Andean countries Colombia and Peru both signed the trade deal in 2012, after Ecuador dropped out of the talks in 2009.   “I am very pleased with the outcome of the Parliament’s vote,” EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said.    “We’ve managed to clear the way for Ecuador to join its Andean neighbours in building a...
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Chinese banana farms in Laos halted for using hazardous chemicals 04.01.2017
CHINESE farms in several provinces in Laos have been suspended because of their use of hazardous chemicals that are having negative impacts on people’s health and the environment.   The Prime Minister’s Office ordered farms preparing to cultivate banana trees to cease their efforts, while thousands of hectares of banana plantations that have already planted the trees will not be allowed to plant any more suckers after harvesting their crops.   Onkeo Ounralom, director of the Oudomxay provincial Planting and Investment Department, told the media on Friday that banana farms in a number of...
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Aldi US blacklists eight insecticides used or potentially usable on banana plants 14.12.2016
Aldi US has just sent a strong signal to the whole market. From 1st January 2017, the US branch of the German discounter (more than 1 500 points of sale in the United States, growing steeply) is set to banish from its shelves products which have been treated by the following eight insecticides: Thiametoxam, Chlorpyrifos, Clothianidin, Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Fipronil, Imidacloprid, Sulfoxaflor. They are all used or potentially usable against banana plant pests, such as the weevil and thrips for the most common applications, but also against scale insects, defoliating caterpillars or...
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Thank you for your donations to the SITRAP motorbike appeal  08.12.2016
Thank you to all of the donors to our recent appeal to help fund a new motorbike for Didier Leitón, the General Secretary of SITRAP, our partner union in Costa Rica. Didier is very grateful for the donations, and has sent us the photo of him with the motorbike, which will help him with his organising work at more than 40 plantations. Didier has sent the thank you letter below to branches of the GMB union, and others, who donated to the fund: Siquirres, Limón, Costa Rica.  13 September 2016   Dear friends of the branch and regional offices of GMB who have made donations to purchase a...
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25th November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women- with Adela Torres 07.12.2016
“We won’t tolerated more violence” Sintraingro organized a demonstration day rejecting all types of violence against women.         The General Secretary of the National Union of Workers in Agricultural Industries (SINTRAINAGRO), Adela Torres, spoke to La Rel about the action they hold on the municipality of Apartadó, as part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.    “Every year, this date is a day for reflection. This year it was day for denouncing and to raise the voice in rejection of all types of violence that we women are subject to”, pointed.  ...
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