New Zealand’s first ever Fairtrade bananas arrive on our shores this week and Raglan’s Independent Grocery will be one of the first places in the country to stock them.
All Good Organics are trialing the fruit in a select number of outlets. If they can sell 100,000 bananas in the first two months they hope to offer Fairtrade bananas on a permanent basis.
Grown in El Guabo, Ecuador, Fairtrade bananas ensure that the growers benefit from a fair price and better working conditions. Traditionally bananas have made big profits for banana companies and supermarkets. To keep prices low – and profit margins high – farmers and plantation workers at the bottom of the supply chain have been poorly paid. A Fairtrade agreement offers a stable price which covers the cost of sustainable production and enables workers to provide for their families. Farmers also receive a premium which producer organisations invest in community projects like healthcare and education facilities. In El Guabo growers use the Fairtrade premium to improve the way they farm, build community centres and buy equipment for schools.
All Good bananas are also grown with organic fertilisers and without herbicides. Fairtrade certification ensures farming methods are environmentally friendly to protect the workers’ health, the bananas themselves and the soil they’re grown in.
Kim Paton, owner of the Independent Grocery, expects the bananas to be well received. “Whenever we’ve had organic bananas for sale they’ve been extremely popular. But organic bananas don’t offer an assurance about the workers. I imagine Fairtrade bananas will be even more popular.”
The first batch of Fairtrade bananas arrived in the store on Tuesday.