Bananas

Bananas are a supermarket staple, and many retailers have made it a priority to stock Fairtrade bananas in the produce section. This is especially evident in the UK, where one in four bananas sold carries the FAIRTRADE Mark, in Switzerland it is one in five.

Most of the world’s banana exports come from Latin America, which is also the home of the majority of Fairtrade banana producers. In bananas, Fairtrade certifies both small producer organizations and plantations that employ hired labour. As the majority of bananas are grown on large plantations, working with hired labour organizations allows Fairtrade to make a larger impact on the banana industry.

What Fairtrade Means for Banana Producers

Bananas bearing the FAIRTRADE Mark are produced by small producer organizations or on plantations that meet the high social and environmental requirements outlined in the Fairtrade Standards. Farmers receive a Fairtrade Minimum Price and a Fairtrade Premium to invest in projects in their communities according to their priorities and needs.

The Fairtrade standards for banana production differ between small producer organizations and plantations. However the Fairtrade Minimum Prices and Premium are set at the same level for both types of organizations. Read more

General Facts about Bananas

  • Bananas are considered the largest herb in the world. They grow in a bunch on a tree, but they do not have seeds - new trees must be planted using the shoots or suckers of an existing plant.
  • Nearly all exported bananas are of a single variety - Cavendish bananas. Gros Michel bananas were the dominant bananas on the market until a disease wiped them out in the 1960s - a threat the Cavendish bananas facing as well.
  • Bananas ripen quickly. As a result they are shipped in refrigerated ships to prevent them from ripen before they arrive in the supermarket.
  • India, China and the Philippines are the world's leading banana producers. However, almost all their produce is consumed domestically, which makes Latin America and the Caribbean region the primacy source for exported bananas.
  • Useful tips for the inside of a banana peel: use it to soothe a mosquito bite or polish your shoes.

Where to buy

Fairtrade certified bananas may be available in your market. If you can't find them, request them at your favorite retailer or get in touch with your local Fairtrade organization by checking out Fairtrade Near You or select one of the countries in blue on the map below.


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