News archive

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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How Fairtrade investment is bearing fruit in Ghana 05.12.2016
Banana Link recently took a group of journalists from different European countries to visit Fairtrade certified banana and pineapple plantations in Ghana to showcase good practice. We reproduce below an article by one of those journalists, Joanna Blythman, published in The Grocer magazine.   Seated at her monitor, Abigail, an alert, highly motivated 12-year-old Ghanaian, tells me why she’s concentrating on her computer skills: “It helps you get an education.” She is just one of the kids in the Asuogyaman area who soak up free IT training funded by the “social premium”, the extra funds...
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75,000 people demand fair wages, health protection and trade union rights for plantation workers in Lidl supply chains 01.12.2016
Pesticides, unfair salaries, exploitation: plantation workers in Ecuador and Costa Rica are grafting in order to produce fresh bananas and pineapples for our supermarket shelves. In our pan-European Lidl campaign, more than 75,000 people demand fair wages, health protection and trade union rights for plantation workers - resulting in first achievements: Two Lidl suppliers are starting to change the conditions on their plantations. On gigantic plantations in Costa Rica and Ecuador, pineapples and bananas are grown for European supermarket chains. Plantation workers are exploited under...
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Fyffes melons at centre of labour abuse claims from Honduran workers 30.11.2016
Labourers in deprived region complain of poor conditions and say multinational has blocked efforts to form a trade union, allegations denied by Fyffes   Article reproduced from The Guardian     Photo: Melon plantation workers with their union flag in Choluteca. Photograph: Jonathan Watts for the Guardian   Thousands of miles from the supermarkets in the west that they supply with cantaloupes, a community of Honduran melon plantation labourers say they are threatened with dismissal and destitution because they have tried to form a union at their Irish-owned company.   The workers – the vast...
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Thank you for your donations to the FAWU Farm Co-op in Cameroon 11.11.2016
Thank you to everyone who donated to our appeal in support of the Fako Agricultural Workers Union (FAWU) of Cameroon's Farm Co-op earlier this year. We managed to raise a very impressive £1200 for the Co-op.  By way of a thank you, we recently recorded this message to you all from Pastor Wanji John of the FAWU Executive.  If you would like to donate you can DONATE HERE.        
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Rainforest Alliance and the Discount Supermarkets: Low Prices and Easy Standards? 28.09.2016
Banana Link, as members of the Europe-wide Make Fruit Fair! Campaign, have published a report evaluating Rainforest Alliance (RA) certification in the light of recent moves by discount supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl to source tropical fruit from RA certified suppliers.    The report - Rainforest Alliance and the Discount Supermarkets: Low Prices and Easy Standards? – looks at the standards and verification systems used by RA and at the realities of daily life on RA certified banana, pineapple and tea plantations, and concludes that RA certification cannot guarantee sustainability at the same...
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Sentenced for reporting human rights abuses in the Thai fruit industry – support Andy Hall! 22.09.2016
As an organisation that for 20 years has documented and raised awareness of human rights abuses in tropical fruit production, Banana Link is shocked at conviction in Thailand of Andy Hall for criminal defamation.    British labour rights activist Andy Hall has been sentenced to a three year suspended jail term and a fine after being found guilty of defaming a Thai pineapple wholesaler that supplies the European Union.   The suspended sentence means he is unlikely to serve any time in jail but the ruling in Bangkok sets a frightening precedent for activists and NGOs working on labour rights...
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