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Trade News

Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Popularity of Fair Trade bananas on the rise

Thursday, January 18, 2018 > 10:36:12

Fresh Plaza

"The fair trade banana market has grown significantly in the last decade, particularly in the United Kingdom and Switzerland. More recently, it has gained popularity in Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria. In the Fair Trade industry, bananas have become the best sold product. For some other products, only a small share of the total production is sold under the Fair Trade seal, but for bananas, the average share exceeds 60%, which has an enormous impact for the producers," explains Nicolás Leger, of CLAC Peru.


He explains that in Fair Trade there are Fairtrade National Organizations responsible for the promotion of fair trade in the different consumer markets. There are also networks of producers in the production regions, as is the case of CLAC in Latin America. "It is the oldest network of small producers and labourers, because Fair Trade started in Latin America 30 years ago. The Network takes care of all the assistance provided to the producers. We work with field workers in different countries, providing assistance, for example, in aspects related to certification or improvements in the production. Also, the coordinator is in charge of important social aspects, such as gender, child protection and, of course, climate change. Depending on the product, these issues can be more or less important, but we help in the launch of operation programs designed to tackle them."

"The companies marketing Fair Trade products pay a license, which again allows organizations like CLAC to have a budget to help the producers. Furthermore, the Fair Trade system guarantees the payment of Fair Trade premiums, which, in the case of bananas, means that each dollar made from this fruit goes directly to the producer organization or to the workers' committee in the case of plantations. This aspect is the most visible one of Fair Trade, because producers and workers use that money to fund projects in the field."

Organic and conventional

Nicolás assures that in recent years, the development of the Fair Trade market has been driven mainly by organic bananas. "Around 50% of the Fair Trade supply is organic. We are trying to bring it into balance, because the conventional banana production, in general, is much greater than the organic one. Also, we are trying to enter markets willing to buy conventional Fair Trade bananas, so that large distributors will only have this type of bananas. In Colombia and in the Dominican Republic there are producers whose production is Fair Trade, but not organic, so we have to find markets for that fruit, too."

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