News archive

Another killing in Guatemala 13.02.2012
Miguel Angel González Ramírez, a member of the Izabal banana workers’ union SITRABI, was killed on 5 February. He was shot several times whilst carrying his young child in his arms. "This is yet another deadly crime against banana workers and, as such, against the Guatemalan trade union movement as a whole. President Otto Perez Molina must honour the responsibility he has to protect the workers targeted by constant violence,“ insisted ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. The murder took place in the midst of a battle being waged by SITRABI following the refusal of Del Monte subsidiary...
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Stop supermarkets abusing their buyer power with Make Fruit Fair!! 06.02.2012
  'Stop supermarkets abusing their buyer power' is the campaign call from the Make Fruit Fair campaign which wants supermarkets, as the most powerful actors along the supply chain, to pay fair prices to their suppliers. Consumers throughout Europe are being mobilised to petition Barroso for the EC regulation of supermarket buying practices through a Code of Practice enforced and monitored by an ombudsman. Bananas and pineapples are amongst the most traded fruits in the world.  Most are grown on large plantations producing for, or owned by, big fruit companies including Chiquita, Del Monte and...
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Iris Munguia, first woman Coordinator of COLSIBA 13.12.2011
Iris Munguia was appointed Coordinator at COLSIBA during the COLSIBA XI Conference in August this year. She is the first woman to be elected to lead COLSIBA since its foundation in 1993. Iris' election into this prominent position illustrates the great progress Latin American unions have made in terms of gender representation.Women workers in Latin American banana trade face many challenges. They are often subject to sexual harassment and labour discrimination, as they are seen to be unreliable workers. Those who do secure jobs are forced to leave their children at home in order to earn a...
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Costa Rica: strike ends with promise to negotiate a new CBA 10.12.2011
A fortnight-long strike by workers at three Del Monte banana plantations in the Southern Costa Rican region of Sixaola has ended with a commitment by the company to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Public and Private Sector Workers' Union (SITEPP) union. Four days into the strike by over 800 of the 1200 employees who work on the Corbana-owned plantations (managed by the Fresh Del Monte subsidiary for the national industry body), the Government agreed to play an active role in conciliating the parties. Some 80% of the workers come from ethnic Guaymi...
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Free Markets and the Food Crisis in Central America 05.12.2011
In 'Free Markets and the Food Crisis in Central America' Aguilar proposes that regional intergration is needed to counter the negative impacts of increased foreign investment and agressive trade liberalisation in Central America. He describes a region heavily dependent on imports and 'aid' through free trade agreements with the U.S. and E.U. In 2005 agriculture contributed less to regional GDP than remittances with widespread migration from countryside to the cities as farmers are no longer able to make a living. As dependency on grain imports increases, export based agriculture is...
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Ecuador: New ITUC report reveals labour rights abuses 05.12.2011
A new ITUC report on core labour standards in Ecuador reveals grave problems with trade union rights and discrimination and several other violations of labour rights.Ecuadorian workers are reported to enjoy only limited rights to organise, collectively bargain and strike. Employers make use of practices such as sub-contracting and setting up employer-controlled associations to further weaken workers' bargaining power.Whilst sub-contracting may be prevalent in Ecuadorian industries under less international scrutiny, Banana Link believes that in the banana industry, multinational and national...
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Renwick Rose receives Guardian International Development Achievement Award 21.11.2011
Renwick Rose, for decades the Coordinator of the Windwards Islands Farmer Association (WINFA) was at the Royal Academy of Arts last week to receive the Guardian International Development Achievement Award 2011. Banana Link and EUROBAN representatives attended the event to celebrate the long term dedication to fair and sustainable banana trade of a key partner. Visit the Guardian and Fairtrade Foundation websites to read more. Congrulations Renwick from us all at Banana Link!!
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Vote for Renwick! 14.09.2011
Renwick Rose of the Windward Islands National Farmers’ Network Association (WINFA) has championed the vulnerable position of small banana farmers in the Caribbean for many years. You now have an opportunity to celebrate his unparalleled contribution to 'Making Fruit Fair' by voting for Renwick in the Guardian's International Development Achievement Awards 2011!!Despite his 40 years of work in civil society development and trade justice, Renwick Rose is not a globally recognised name. Yet, among the small farming communities of the Windward Islands in the Caribbean, he is a celebrated...
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Dole to compensate some banana workers 23.08.2011
Dole Food Company signed an agreement on 11 August to compensate 3,153 Nicaraguan, 700 Costa Rican and 1000 Honduran, banana workers for exposure to dibromochloropropane (DBCP), better known as Nemagon, used on plantations in the departments of Chinandega and Leon in the 1970s and 1980s. One of the lawyers involved in the process told AFP that the "compensation, which will take effect over the next two or three months, will allow these workers to change their lives." Between 1973 and 1980, Dole used the agrochemicals Fumazone and Nemagon in banana plantations in Central America,...
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German discounters go for direct banana sourcing 08.08.2011
8 August 2011 Lidl has joined Aldi in announcing that they will be sourcing their bananas directly, rather than buying from wholesalers. The German retailers seem to be following the model developed by British and French retailers like Morrison, Tesco and Casino, using a dedicated in-house fruit sourcing company to buy directly from producers. Between them Aldi and Lidl account for over one third of the German banana market, so the move by the two retail giants could have a significant impact on the industry, especially if the direct sourcing model is extended to the large networks of...
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