German retailer Lidl has confirmed that all of its bananas will be sourced from Rainforest Alliance-certified growers in the future, having made a similar move for its pineapple procurement back in May 2015.
As reported in Fruchthandel Magazine, the company has taken the step as demand for ethically traded fruit has grown among German consumers over the past few years.
“It is important that the products we offer in our stores are produced ecologically and under fair conditions,” commented Jan Bock, head of sourcing at Lidl Deutschland. “Since 2011, therefore, we have been working together with the Rainforest Alliance.”
Farms certified under the scheme must achieve the so-called SAN standard for sustainable agriculture, which includes a number of environmental and ethical components.
According to Lidl, this enables fruit to be grown in a more efficient manner, using water more sparingly and re-using waste products.
“This saves the farmers additional money, which goes towards fair pay for workers,” Bock added. “To ensure that the demanding criteria are met, the certified banana farms undergo an annual audit.”
Organic bananas sold by Lidl in Germany will continue to be sourced from Fairtrade-certified producers, the group noted.