Monitoring the scope and benefits of Fairtrade: Bananas – Monitoring report, 10th Edition

Published: 5 Jul 2019


Note: We began reporting key monitoring data differently starting with 2017 figures. Product-specific reports for the top seven Fairtrade products by volume are being added as they become available.

The Fairtrade banana sector is going from strength to strength. Sales figures are increasing, as are the number of certified producer organizations and the number of workers and farmers benefitting from that.

Last year, several European retailers announced further commitments to Fairtrade bananas. French supermarket Monoprix announced that they will sell only organic Fairtrade bananas in their stores. Superunie, a Dutch wholesale purchasing cooperative, is now selling only Fairtrade bananas. Lidl International also expanded their commitment to Fairtrade conventional bananas in seven European markets, besides their existing Fairtrade organic bananas.

Despite these positive developments, difficulties persist. Amid a strongly competitive retail landscape, big retailers continue to push banana prices down lower and lower to attract shoppers into their stores. Price wars can have devastating effects on workers and producers, who see their income reduced to below their cost of production in some cases. Low prices also impact on the environment in banana-producing countries since farmers lack the money to invest in things like more efficient water use and climate change mitigation projects.

For Fairtrade, this race to the bottom for banana retail prices presents both a challenge and an opportunity to continue innovating and engaging with companies to address the many issues that exist in banana supply chains.