Fairtrade Canada Creates Stamp to Bruise Bananas With Dark Truths

Grassroots campaign empowers shoppers to urge retailers to stock Fairtrade bananas and push for better treatment of farmers and workers

Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA

OTTAWA, Nov. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Unbeknownst to most consumers, Canada’s reliance on cheap bananas has dangerous impacts on the lives of farmers and workers across the banana industry – exposure to hazardous pesticides, poverty wages, limited protection for women’s rights, environmental damage and much more.

To help change this, Fairtrade Canada created the first ever Banana Stamp, a simple tool to help spread their message where it can't be ignored – directly on bananas. On November 1st, shoppers at East West Market in Vancouver, BC will find their bananas bruised with five messages warning them of the consequences of cheap produce, including:

  • Some non-Fairtrade banana workers only make $3 a day.
  • Organic does not always mean fair trade.
  • Most banana workers don’t earn a living wage.
  • Hazardous pesticides harm banana workers & their communities.
  • Women have no protection from harassment on banana plantations.

The jarring facts of the Banana Stamp will also be bruising bananas across university campuses, schools, workplaces, and communities across Canada throughout November to generate support for bananas that do better for the environment and the people producing them.

National retailers are the key actors in this effort. Grocery stores often enlist bananas as loss leaders using artificially low prices to attract consumers. Achieving these prices often means externalizing social and environmental costs and pushing them further down the supply chain.

The tactic results in a cascade of negative consequences for people and the environment. A study conducted by True Price and Trucost compared the external costs of conventional production with bananas produced as Fairtrade. The hidden costs in the conventional banana sector amounted to an average of $6.70USD per box. The external costs for Fairtrade bananas were found to be an average of 45 percent less.

99% of the bananas sold in Canada are not Fairtrade certified. Where other countries see major retailers committing to 100% Fairtrade banana sourcing, in Canada, Fairtrade bananas are only available in five large retailers across Canada. To improve this, the Behind the Peel stamps directs consumers to a website where they can submit a request to their local retailer to urge them to carry Fairtrade bananas.

The Banana Stamp is part of Fairtrade Canada’s Behind the Peel campaign, an effort to build awareness and incite action. Visit www.behindthepeel.com to learn more and participate.

About Fairtrade Canada
Fairtrade is a global movement for change with a strong and active presence in Canada, represented by Fairtrade Canada. We work directly with businesses, consumers and campaigners to make trade fair for farmers and workers by ensuring fair, sustainable and ethical supply chains for the products we consume. The international Fairtrade system represents the world's largest and most recognized independent certification system, representing over 1.66 million farmers and workers in 73 countries. Visit fairtrade.ca to learn more.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/9c020eb5-1923-47e7-95ca-37d17b13f4e8

Stunt Pic 5