Power imbalances along tropical fruit value chains result in unsustainably low prices and unfair trading practices by supermarkets and fruit companies. These pressures are passed on to people at the very beginning of the value chain. Farmers are often paid less and/or later than promised for the goods they produce. Workers are often forced to work long hours for low pay in degrading conditions, while exposed to harmful agrochemicals and denied their basic rights, including the freedom to join an independent trade union. In this climate of fear workers and farmers do not always dare to stand up for their rights.
Local communities are damaged by the subsequent poverty and the impact of large scale monoculture production on both human health and the environment.
We must and will end the negative impacts of tropical fruit supply chains. Since 2010, European members of the Make Fruit Fair! campaign have worked in partnership with plantation worker unions and small farmer organisations in the Global South to contribute to a global movement for change.
We advocate for fair prices and living wages, respect for labour and human rights and respect for the environment. Our vision is that all female and male plantation workers secure Decent Work and all female and male small farmers have decent livelihoods from tropical fruit.
To achieve sustainable production and trade it is essential to end the current practice of large scale monoculture production which is heavily reliant on agrochemicals, and instead promote agro-ecological alternative methods. This must include supermarket commitments to sourcing from, and supporting the good practices, of small scale producers.
We believe that supermarkets need to pay prices that cover the costs of sustainable production and that all industry stakeholders need to understand and address the hidden social and environmental costs of tropical fruit production (externalities).
We believe that active participation in multi stakeholder dialogue through the World Banana Forum is important to fostering dialogue between all stakeholders of the supply chain and to finding ways of securing sustainable production and trade in the banana industry and providing examples of good practice for other tropical fruit sectors.
We believe that regulation, rather than voluntary standards, is the best way to secure fair trading practices and the respect and protection of human and environmental rights. This includes the signing of a legally binding treaty on transnational companies and other business enterprises with respect to human rights. However we do encourage certifiers to rigorously implement robust standards that can improve livelihoods and wages and protect the environment.
Governments, supermarkets and fruit companies shall ensure that female and male workers and small farmers in fruit export production have Decent Work and decent livelihoods.
There should be:
Governments shall ensure that companies are held accountable for human and labour rights violations and environmental crimes in producing countries.
They shall ensure that:
Supermarkets and fruit companies shall respect and implement human and labour rights throughout their supply chains. In particular, they shall disclose their human rights impacts including that of their suppliers.
Governments, supermarkets and fruit companies shall implement policies that encourage ecologically sound fruit production. In particular, they shall ensure that:
Governments, supermarkets and fruit companies should stop the abuse of supermarket buyer power.
Supermarkets and fruit companies should: