News archive

Unsustainability in New Zealand’s banana supply chain: what you need to know 10.05.2017
Bananas take out the top spot as Kiwi’s favourite fruit, yet support for sustainable banana supply chains remain weak in the retail space.   New research highlights the unsustainability of New Zealand’s banana supply chain and the need for major retailers to do more to support banana farmers and workers in the cultivation of bananas in Ecuador.   According to Basic’s (The Bureau for the Appraisal of Societal Impacts and Costs) ‘The Big Squeeze’ report, commissioned by Fairtrade New Zealand, New Zealand’s banana market is placing a significant amount of pressure on banana producing countries,...
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Hope for worker rights at Fyffes subsidiaries in Costa Rica and Honduras? 05.05.2017
The 5 May announcement by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) that Fyffes are to be temporarily suspended from membership raises hope for workers at their subsidiaries in Costa Rica and Honduras, that labour rights would, in future, be fully and properly respected.     The ETI’s action follows a complaint submitted by Banana Link and the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) and upheld by the ETI that Fyffes are in breach of the ETI Base Code by failing to properly respect Freedom of Association and the right to Collective Bargaining and to provide a safe and hygienic workplace on their...
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Flood-hit Dominican Republic banana sector “determined” to recover 03.05.2017
Heavy rainfall and flooding which devastated much of the Dominican Republic’s organic banana production late last year is having a lasting effect as farmers struggle to rehabilitate plantations, some of which have needed to be completely replanted. PBUK looks into what has been happening since a tropical storm hit last November and how low prices are contributing to losses. It will be at least September or October before banana plantations start truly recovering from the floods that battered the Dominican Republic’s key growing region of Palo Verde.   For months farmers have been rebuilding...
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Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Condemns Attack on Union Members in Honduras 02.05.2017
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the attack in Honduras on April 13, 2017, carried out against Moisés Sánchez, General Secretary of a chapter of the STAS union of agricultural workers, and his brother, Misael Sánchez (pictured), who is also affiliated with that labor union.   According to information provided to the IACHR, as well as publicly available information, the brothers had left the union office in the department of Choluteca and were bicycling down the road when they were violently attacked by four hooded men armed with guns and machetes. Misael Sánchez...
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Armed attack on trade union organiser at Fyffes subsidiary in Honduras 20.04.2017
The news report below has been translated and reproduced from - http://informes.rel-uita.org/index.php/sindicatos/item/no-nos-van-a-intimidar The global Freedom and Fairness for Fyffes workers! campaign is currently calling on the company to respect the rights of workers in its global supply chains.   “They will not intimidate us” General Secretary of STAS’s sub-branch at Fyffes denounces the criminal attack    By Giorgio Trucchi | IUF Latin America   On 15 April, Moisés Sánchez and his brother were attacked by unknown assailants armed with handguns and machetes while they were returning to...
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Peru flooding: trade unionists desperately need your help 30.03.2017
Members of Banana Link's Peruvian trade union partner, SITAG (Sindicato De Trabajadores Agrarios Del Peru), and SITETSA (Sindicato De Trabajadores Empresa Talsa) trade union in Peru desperately need financial help to rebuild their homes, offices and their lives following recent devastating floods and landslides in Peru.    Communication with the affected areas is difficult due to power cuts and phone lines being down, but we have been told that in the city of Piura, at least a dozen SITAG members have lost their homes, and the union office has collapsed, while in the Province of Viru and its...
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Banana Link and partners call on Colombian government to protect trade unionists 30.03.2017
Banana Link and eighteen of our partner organisations have today written to the Government of Colombia calling on them to provide protection for the leaders of the country's banana workers' union, SINTRAINAGRO. The letter follows a recent grenade attack at SINTRAINAGRO offices in the department of Magdalena, Ciénaga municipality, on 8 March. SINTRAINAGRO represents 35,000 workers engaged in the production and / or export of bananas, sugar cane, oil palm, rice and flowers. Throughout its history, the Union has supported all the peace negotiations carried out in the country, which has allowed...
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Costa Rica sets new record in banana exports 10.03.2017
The value of banana exports also reaches an all-time high of $986 million. Productivity rises from 2,339 to 2,800 boxes per hectare per year. BY MARVIN BARQUERO S. mbarquero@nacion.com Banana growing is centred on the cantons of Sarapiquí, Pococí Siquirres, Guácimo, Matina, Limón and Talamanca on the Carribean coast, and in Parrita, Corredores and Palmar Sur on the Pacific coast. It provides direct employment for an estimated 43,000 workers.  JORGE CASTILLO/ARCHIVO Banana exports in Costa Rica reached record levels last year in terms of both volume and value, aided by the weather and a number...
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Record banana exports: The role of the worker 10.03.2017
Albino Vargas opinion@laprensalibre.cr   986 million dollars! Yes, that's right! Dollars! Converting it into colones, using the current exchange rate of around 566 colones to the dollar, gives us the gigantic sum of 558.076 billion colones! Or, expressed in figures: 558,076,000,000.    This massive figure amounts to almost two percentage points of the country's current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if we take each GDP percentage point to be around 300 billion colones (300,000,000,000).   Great! But what do these numbers actually refer to? This huge amount of money, according to data supplied...
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Melon-producing subsidiary dismisses all staff who were members of STAS. 10.03.2017
Fyffes has sunk even lower, dismissing all security staff who had joined the Union of Workers in Agroindustry and Allied Trades (STAS) from its melon plantations. The process of organising a sub-branch of the STAS union among security staff at Melon Export SA (Melexsa), one of three of Fyffes’s subsidiaries in Honduras, had been undertaken with great care and in total secrecy in order to avoid attacks from the company.   Unfortunately, this was not enough to prevent Fyffes, once more, from showing contempt for the rights of its men and women workers.   “We held a mass meeting, and we...
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