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Make Fruit Fair Newsletter - January 2014


Help Caribbean farmers respond to Christmas storm damageCaribbean Storm Causes Damages this Christmas
Following a devastating storm this Christmas Banana Link is raising money for our Caribbean partner, WINFA (the Windward Islands Farmers' Association). Emergency funds are desperately needed by hundreds of small Fairtrade banana farmers. Read more and donate today.

Make Bananas Fair! this Fairtrade Fortnight'Stick with Foncho to Make Bananas Fair' logo and link
Fairtrade Fortnight 2014 marks the launch of Make Bananas Fair! a unique campaign aiming to transform the banana industry to ensure that banana farmers and workers, those at the sharp end of the supply chain, get a fair deal.
Fairtrade bananas appeared on British supermarket shelves 13 years ago and now a massive one in three bananas sold in the UK are Fairtrade certified. Yet despite this achievement there remains a serious problem at the heart of the banana business.
According to the Fairtrade Foundation, ‘as global exports have grown, many banana farmers and workers have seen their earnings cut in real terms. Shockingly, the UK supermarket sector has almost halved the shelf price of loose bananas in the last 10 years even though the cost of producing bananas has doubled. We now pay on average 11p for a loose banana compared to 20p for a loose UK grown apple.’
You can find out more about how you can Make Bananas Fair! and take action by signing the petition to end unfair banana pricing.

Defending workers' rights in banana plantations in Guatemala
Capacity Building in GuatemalaThe TUC (Trades Union Congress) is a federation of trade unions in England and Wales, representing over 6 million members. Their charity, TUC Aid, is working in partnership with Banana Link to defend the rights of workers in the most dangerous country for trade unionists, Guatemala.
This project, in partnership with the Izabal Banana Workers’ Union of Guatemala (SITRABI) and the Coordinating Body of Latin American Banana and Agro-industrial Unions (COLSIBA) is successfully:
  • building capacity on the ground
  • delivering education activities
  • enabling the exchange of expertise and experience between trade union representatives
  • improving communications with public authorities
  • increasing organising of banana plantations workers in the Pacific South
The first banana industry round table in the country has been created providing a much needed forum to address outstanding problems in the local industry and facilitate dialogue and collective bargaining.
More details on the project and its most recent achievements can be found on Banana Link’s Guatemala page and in the July-December 2013 progress report from TUC Aid.

Global Banana Industry moves forward on living wages
Banana packhouse - washing bananasProgress is being made towards securing wages high enough to maintain a decent standard of living for banana plantation workers in Latin America and West Africa. An increasingly critical mass of stakeholders in the banana supply chain have now committed to implementing change on the ground in the banana exporting countries.

You can read the full story on our website and find out more about living wages.

New Hired Labour Standard for Fairtrade
Banana packhouse workersFollowing a long process of consultation and significant engagement with trade unions and labour rights organisations, Fairtrade International has now published a new Hired Labour Standard. Banana Link took part in the consultation and welcomes the new Standard which recognises trade unions as the best vehicle to empower workers to secure their rights.
Read more about this new Standard, as well as a new methodology introduced by Fairtrade International to ensure progress towards living wages for plantation workers.

Take Action on Facebook! Like Emergency Caribbean Appeal on FacebookMake Fruit Fair - Like us on Facebook!
Facebook is a powerful tool for raising awareness and taking campaign action! You can help support our work with banana and pineapple plantations workers with just a click! Help us make it to 500 likes on our Make Fruit Fair Facebook page in February – like us yourself and ask your friends and family too! We share news updates, campaign information, videos and more using our Facebook page.

With all good wishes, 
Jacqui Mackay
National Coordinator
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