Happy New Year!
We hope that the start to 2014 brings with it new energy and positive growth, both personally and professionally, to everyone in our Bananacado network.
This first 2014 edition of the newsletter is filled to the brim with tools to jump start the authentic fairtrade conversation: perfect timing for those with resolutions to eat better and make the world a better place. Marvel at the 2013 Impact Infographic, or watch a new animated short about banana history, or plan to attend the Banana Conference in Boston in March. But pass on what you learn to colleagues, friends, and customers. We’re putting our best foot forward this year- not just leaning on past success, but gearing up for what lies ahead. We’re counting on you to help raise the debate over our food system in 2014.
But first, an update on fairtrade certified pricing in 2014…
New Fairtrade Minimum Pricing Established for 2014
If you are unfamiliar with how fairtrade certification works, the most basic rule is that in order to be considered certified, grower and buyer must agree to purchase product at or above the minimum price established by the certification agency being used. For example, our own Equal Exchange Bananas are certified fairtrade by the Fairtrade Labeling Organization (FLO), which is an international body tasked with determining what the minimum, or “fair,” price should be. This is why the FLO seal appears on each bunch of Equal Exchange bananas sold.
As of January 1st, the average minimum price across all the producing countries for bananas increased $0.60 per 40 lb. box (under FLO). This is hugely positive for farmers within the system: not only will they get more for their labor, they will be at less of a disadvantage when negotiating contracts with buyers looking to suppress price increases – something that fairtrade was designed to combat.
Bananas: A new documentary called, “Banana Land: Blood, Bullets and Poison,” by filmmaker Jason Glaser, tells the sordid story of plantation grown bananas. It is a story many already know and very well may be the reason why you purchase Equal Exchange bananas. If you’d like to brush up on your banana history, take a look at this animated excerpt from Jason’s film:
Avocados: It’s not hard to draw the parallels between the banana story and the Mexican-grown avocado industry in the United States. Small farmers are systematically disenfranchised by governments and markets, and the result of clashes is often violent. Less has been written about the atrocities occurring in the avocado business, but as the US market grows, more is coming to light. Here is some coverage we’ve seen come out.
Tip: Read the following articles in order as they appear here
For comparison, 2012 stats were:
11,000,000 Equal Exchange Bananas sold
$1,600,000 paid directly to small farmers
$143,000 paid to farmers as a social premium
We love that growth!!!
The 2013 Infographic will be available for download here soon.
If you need it in the meantime, email firstname.lastname@example.org
You are cordially invited to Equal Exchange’s
The Future of
March 21st, 22nd, and 23rd 2014
Join an Ecuadorian banana farmer; produce managers and distributors; students and academics; journalists, activists, and allies to discuss the future of this powerful movement.
Special Guest Panelists Include:
President, El Guabo Cooperative, Guayaquil, Ecuador
author of “Bananas: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World”
General Manager, El Guabo Cooperative, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Founder of BananaLink, a non-profit working for fair and sustainable banana trade in the UK
Hans-Willem van der Waal,
CEO of Agrofair (original investor in Equal Exchange Bananas), European importer, Netherlands, EU
Other special guest panelists to be announced!
Register by February 1st and admission is only $25.00 per person for all three events.
Learn more and RSVP to each event at http://BananaCon2014.eventzilla.net