Guest blog from All Good Bananas
Ethical, green or otherwise, it all comes out in the wash.
Greenwashing of eco-labels has been a hot topic in the media this weekend and today. First on Sunday morning on Chris Laidlaw’s show on National Radio.
Then on Sunday evening on One News.
And again this morning on TV One’s Breakfast
You can have your say at by voting on TV One’s poll, it’s on their homepage at the link above, or commenting on the Breakfast Facebook page.
You can also check out the difference between Fairtrade’s independent labelling and other self appointed ethical claims right here.
And if there’s any doubt just look for the Fairtrade label. The one you can trust.
We see a lot of self appointed certifications by brands claiming to be ethical in supermarkets and shops and here at All Good we don’t think it’s right or that they have the right to call themselves fair or ethical or green unless they can get a reputable independent authority to verify their claims. We believe independent certification is key.
The great thing about Fairtrade and the Fairtrade Labeling Organisation is that they are third party not for profit organisations that are working in the best interests of producers.
Fairtrade’s sole interest is to establish a fair price for producers and to maintain standards that assure consumers the food and other Fairtrade goods they purchase are guaranteed to provide environmental care health, wellbeing and social justice for those producers – so they get the fair deal they deserve.
Fundamentally Fairtrade improves the imbalance of power in trading relationships, shifting the power back to small producers and out of the hands of large corporations and intermediaries. Farmers work together to build their own farms and businesses and establish a collective force to sell their product directly to the international markets. In many ways it’s similar to how NZ businesses such as Fonterra operate as a cooperative.
And we’ve seen first hand how Fairtrade has made a huge difference to the lives and communities in El Guabo Ecuador where All Good bananas come from.
Take for instance, farmers Pedro & Graciella who used to sell their bananas to intermediaries representing multi-national banana exporters. These intermediaries would commit to buy Pedro & Graciella’s bananas at a set price no less than the government mandated minimum. On the day Pedro & Graciella were harvesting their bananas the intermediary would call and say the price they’d agreed for the harvest had changed to less than the official minimum price. Because they were in the middle of harvesting it was impossible to find another buyer so Pedro & Graciella were forced to accept the lower price or leave their bananas to rot. In Pedro & Graciella’s own words “this was heartbreaking”. Because they, in turn, were committed to pay the bananeros they work with and cover all the other costs of production – more than they were earning from the price they were forced to pay per box. If they wanted to stay in business, keep their farm and look after the bananeros they would have to find another way. That way was Fairtrade.
Today, the El Guabo Association includes 450 banana farmers. Conditions have significantly improved for more than 2,000 rural families. Famers have been empowered to take full control of the way their bananas are sold from farm to port, setting up the Association’s own export department and operating through a trading company, Agrofair, which is part owned by El Guabo.
Everyone who works in the El Guabo Association’s Fairtrade farms is protected from the use of agri-chemicals, they get a fair wage, healthcare, schooling for their children and job security.
That’s exactly why we chose to import Fairtrade certified bananas, after looking into pretty much every eco, ethical, sustainable label out there.
It’s been helping farmers to create a better future since 1990. And it’s the most recognised ethical label in the world according to Globalscan research.