Buy Caribbean Bananas

Bananas are not only tasty and consumed the world over, they are also the subject of politics. Governments are supposedly trying to protect free-trade but in reality they may – unknowingly perhaps - be the victim of the lobby of powerful companies. The result is that bananas from some countries face stiff tariffs, that makes it very difficult for small farmers to gain a foothold in some markets.

For instance: bananas from non-ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States) sources are subject to a tariff when entering the EU. Those from ACP countries enter tariff free. However following a WTO ruling in 2009 the tariff level for non-ACP bananas is being reduced over the next few years making it ever harder for Caribbean bananas to compete.
In the tiny Windward Islands of the Caribbean, low retail prices for bananas coupled with ever lowering import tariff levels for non-ACP bananas entering the EU have spelt disaster for small scale banana producers. More than 20,000 out of 25,000 farmers have gone out of business since 1992.

Of the remaining farmers, more than 90% are now Fairtrade certified and this has transformed the lives and businesses of these small banana farmers. Fairtrade guarantees a minimum price that covers the real costs of production, high environmental standards that reduce pesticide use as well as a social premium invested by farmer groups in their local communities. The Fairtrade premium has funded schools, health facilities, roads, pipe borne water, equipment for disadvantaged groups and provided disaster relief.

These farmers depend upon access to the British market to sell their Fairtrade fruit and so Banana Link's Support Caribbean Bananas campaign is putting pressure on supermarkets to make long-term commitments to sourcing bananas from the Windward Islands.
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