17 Nov 2021

Five reasons why we’re bananas about Fairtrade bananas

Banana Day
There are many reasons to be bananas about bananas. Here are five of them!

This year marks 25 years of Fairtrade bananas! The first Fairtrade bananas were sold on Dutch supermarket shelves in November 1996, imported by Fairtrade pioneer Agrofair, and grown on Volta River Estates in Ghana which are still Fairtrade certified today.

Fast-forward, and there are now over 250 Fairtrade certified banana farms and plantations in 16 countries, with more than 36,000 farmers and workers.

Here’s why we are bananas about Fairtrade bananas. Hopefully you will be too!

1. Bananas are the backbone of many countries’ economies

Trading bananas is the cornerstone of many countries’ economies, with an estimated global export value of $7 billion. It is believed that for more than 450 million people in developing countries, bananas (and plantains) are essential staple crops.

2. Fairtrade bananas help fund life-changing projects for communities

Fairtrade is the only sustainability standard that guarantees a fixed Premium. This is an extra sum of money generated per banana sold that farmers and workers invest in projects of their choice. Over the years, these have taken many forms, from low-interest loans, to subsidized medical care, scholarships, cash payments, and more. For example in 2020, sixteen banana companies contributed financially to set up an emergency COVID-19 diagnostic test centre.

Over the past five years, banana producers have received more than €193 million in Fairtrade Premium money.

3. Fairtrade bananas mean more stability

Fairtrade bananas have a minimum price, enabling more stability and long term planning for producers in a market dominated by low prices. If the market prices go up, naturally Fairtrade producers can negotiate a better price!

4. Fairtrade bananas power better wages for workers

Fairtrade bananas come from both small-scale farms, and plantations with hired workers. These workers already benefit through better working conditions and Fairtrade Premium projects, but we want to go further to ensure living wages for all workers on Fairtrade certified plantations. That’s why we introduced a new Fairtrade Base Wage for Fairtrade certified banana plantations, paid from 1 July 2021 onwards. Read more.

5. Bananas are tasty - and good for you!

Bananas are loaded with potassium, which helps regulate heart function and blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods help to lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease and strokes. Nutritional and tasty!

Not forgetting all the yummy things you can make with bananas – like this delicious banana cake recipe from our Fairtrade friends in the UK.

Good for you, good for farmers and workers – what’s not to like?! Celebrate Banana Day by tucking into a Fairtrade banana today.

Find out more about our favourite yellow fruit here.

This article was first published in April 2021 and updated in November 2021. Part of the content was taken from this piece published by the Fairtrade Foundation: https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/media-centre/blog/top-12-facts-about-fairtrade-bananas/