Rainforest Alliance slams “unfair” claims

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Steven Maxwell

BY STEVEN MAXWELL

Rainforest Alliance slams “unfair” claims

Claims made against Favorite in a recent Oxfam Germany report have been condemned

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The Rainforest Alliance has hit out at claims made in a recent report by Oxfam Germany that leading Ecuadorian banana exporter Favorita is guilty, along with many of its peers in the industry, of paying workers low wages in order to compensate for a shortfall in margin.

The study, which examined Germany's discount retail sector, its suppliers and its relationship to poor pay and poor working conditions in third-world countries, accused a number of high-profile names of mistreatment and underpayment of workers.

But despite conceding that the intentions behind the report were justified, Chris Wille, chief of the Rainforest Alliance's sustainable agriculture programme, said that its criticism of Favorita was "quite unfair".

"They have been working for over a decade to make improvements (to their environmental and social policies) – they have put a lot of money and effort into fixing these problems, and they should be recognised for this," he argued. But he added that the study was "entirely justified" in criticising "problems that persist in the industry".

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