Asda this week pledged to source '100% sustainable' bananas from March 2016. It said 93% of its bananas would come from Rainforest Alliance-certified farms, with the remaining 7% sourced from Fairtrade-certified producers.
Michael Gidney, Fairtrade Foundation CEO said:
“Fairtrade welcome all moves towards more sustainable sourcing of bananas. However, the route to sustainability does not end with certification. Real sustainability starts with farmers being paid a fair price for their produce – a fundamental issue in the banana industry. Let’s be clear, this move by Asda comes a full eight years since Sainsbury’s and Waitrose committed 100% of their bananas to Fairtrade certification, and more than three years since the Cooperative started selling 100% Fairtrade bananas. Only Fairtrade includes the payment of Fairtrade prices and additional premiums for small farmers and workers to invest in their own development. In the context of UK supermarket price wars, ensuring farms earn the cost of production is a key assurance the public is looking for, whether on bananas from Latin America or milk from the UK. In 2014, over 181,000 emails were sent to Asda and Tesco asking them to increase availability of Fairtrade bananas in their stores. In Asda’s case, they were asking for it to be increased beyond the current 7%. We’re disappointed that public demand is still unheeded.”