The UK-based Fairtrade Foundation is holding their “Fairtrade Fortnight” this week. The two-week drive focuses on protecting Colombian banana farmers against price wars between UK supermarket chains.
Fairtrade is a foundation that fights for “better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world”.
The NGO released a report on Monday that highlights the problem posed by the price wars between the UKs top supermarkets. The report states that in the UK from 2002 to 2013 the average price per kilo of bananas has dropped from $1.80 to $1.13 roughly a 40% drop. If the price was to follow with the rate of inflation it would be $2.34.
This downward push on banana prices in the UK translates into ” job losses, the casualisation of labour and marginalization of smallholder producers ” for banana farmers primarily in Colombia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
This drop in price means less money paid to the farmers for their goods despite Fairtrade stating that living costs for Colombian farmers has increased 85% over the last decade.
According to the report, Colombia contributes 28% of the UKs total banana imports, which is 13% of Colombia’s total banana output.
The campaign includes a petition that intends to urge the UK government to investigate the pricing of bananas and evaluate its impact on poverty among banana farmers from producer countries like those in Colombia.
- Britain’s Bruising Banana Wars: Fairtrade Fortnight 2014 (Fair Trade Foundation)
- Britain’s Bruising Banana Wars: Media Report (Fair Trade Foundation)