Banana industry players sign voluntary commitment
The Action Alliance for Sustainable Bananas (ABNB) presented the voluntary commitment undertaken by a total of seven actors within the banana sector as part of this year’s Fruit Logistica trade fair in Berlin on 6 April. With their signatures, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Fairtrade Germany, Fyffes, Global Nature Fund (GNF), Kaufland, Rainforest Alliance and WWF Germany have all declared their commitment to promote climate adaptation in banana cultivation.
Climate change is considered to be the sword of Damocles for many areas of agricultural production. It massively influences production, both jeopardising the livelihoods of producers and threatening the long-term availability of bananas, one of Germany’s all-time favourite fruits. The banana supply chain must therefore adapt to the impacts of climate change and do its part to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases involved. And the seven organisations above have set out to do just that, outlining the following objectives:
- The signatory standard organisations Fairtrade Deutschland and Rainforest Alliance have undertaken to continuously improve the climate sensitivity of their standards, provide best practices and learning experiences and offer collaboration and advise to climate projects and programmes.
- Signatory companies Fyffes and Kaufland have undertaken on their part to source bananas from those farms on which the measures have been implemented. They also will provide a relevant financial amount to producers so that they can make necessary investments to implement climate measures.
- Other signatories to the commitment include the BMZ, GNF and WWF Germany, who have all committed to campaigning for sustainable banana production in their regional and local projects.
At the core of this voluntary commitment lies a set of seven climate-related measures that have proven to be particularly relevant for adapting to and mitigating climate change and conserving biodiversity. To derive these measures, the Action Alliance for Sustainable Bananas commissioned a scientific study in 2020, the results of which are now coming into effect. These measures include, for example, composting, integrated pest management (IPM) and the planting of cover crops. The signing organisations firmly believe that these measures will be crucial in supporting producers to adapt to climate change and secure the long-term well-being of their farms. To promote the implementation of these measures as part of an initial step, the ABNB has created an extensive handbook in collaboration with the “From Farm to Fork” project in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. This will be available to all interested farms for free from summer 2022.
The ABNB would like to encourage more actors within the banana sector to sign the voluntary commitment and advocate for climate-friendlier banana production. “We have been feeling the effects of climate change on banana cultivation for a while now. Only by working together to adapt and mitigate the problem throughout the entire supply chain can we secure the supply of bananas in the long term and preserve the livelihoods of millions of smallholders,” says Stephan Carbach, CSR Leader for International Purchasing at Kaufland Stiftung & Co. KG. “Our commitment needs lots of fellow campaigners to achieve this goal.”