The recent move by Sainsburys to replace Fairtrade labellled tea with its own "fairly traded" products, has raised serious concerns among many organisations and consumers. Banana Link, along with CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft and The WI, have told Sainsburys that the move represents a step backwards in tackling major issues related to poverty and environmental sustainability, and may not match Fairtrade standards on wages and worker empowerment.
If Sainsburys moves ahead with this plan, we are concerned that bananas may follow, instigating a "race-to-the bottom", should other retailers decide to follow their lead. The fact that Sainsbury's has championed Fairtrade and was one of the first UK supermarkets to sell only Fairtrade bananas, makes this move even more disappointing. Any move to drop Fairtrade bananas will have a serious impact on the livelihhods of plantation workers and small-scale producers, including those in the Caribbean, for whom Fairtrade certification has been crucial in ensuring their survival over the past decade.
Banana Link are in direct dialogue with Sainsburys about their sustainable sourcing of bananas.