Many banana growers earn as little as NZ$3 a day.
A handful of multinational corporations dominate the global banana trade and use their market power to force down prices paid to the growers.
|Anikoa Abbott grading her Fairtrade bananas. Photo: Abigail Hadeed/Oxfam|
Banana growers face low wages and long hours working on plantations and rights abuses are common. Agrochemicals are often used to combat crop diseases, but exposure to these chemicals can have devastating impacts on the health of workers and their families – including cancer, sterility and birth defects.
A better future with Fairtrade
For the small-scale banana farmers of the Fairtrade certified El Guabo co-operative, the future is looking much more positive.
The El Guabo growers rarely use pesticides on their bananas and are working towards organic farming. Through selling to the Fairtrade market, they have been able to significantly increase their incomes. They have been able to provide scholarships for their children and invest in a nursery and a special needs school. They have been able to provide free medical care for workers and their families.
“The biggest difference with Fairtrade is that before we never had any money. Now we can plan and spend money to improve things on the farm. We have money to spend on education for the kids and better groceries for the family.” Sylvia Ramirez, banana farmer and member of the El Guabo co-operative in Ecuador.
Buy Fairtrade bananas next time you shop!
Buy Fairtrade bananas and help banana growers in the developing world work their way out of poverty.
And don't forget to look for the Fairtrade Label – your independent guarantee that a product is Fairtrade.