Port International has launched Belgium’s first-ever Fairtrade, organic and carbon neutral banana.
Delhaize will be the first Belgian retailer to offer its customers the super-sustainable banana.
“Fairtrade and organic certifications are essential parts of our DNA. We have been trading with both organic and Fairtrade bananas for over 20 years now, being pioneers in Europe. With Be Climate, we want to take sustainability to the next level and protect the Earth that we all live on,” said Karlsson Port.
“In order to reduce climate change, we have to stop talking and act. We have a very long way to go but this is the beginning and with our super banana everyone can make a contribution.”
Xavier Piesvaux, CEO of Delhaize, said becoming carbon neutral formed one of the retailer’s three main goals under its Lions Footprint programme.
“By taking actions in order to reduce our carbon footprint, we can create an immediate positive impact,” he explained.
“Launching carbon-neutral products gives our ambitions extra visibility. By buying these products, customers can contribute themselves to a healthier planet, step by step.”
Nicholas Lambert, director of Fairtrade Belgium, added: “Whilst CO2 neutrality is definitely an important step in the right direction, it is the combination with Fairtrade and organic that makes us go bananas.
“This banana combines a healthy climate and environment with social justice for producers. Fairtrade producers show that it is possible to produce bananas with a social and environmental impact thanks to the Fairtrade system2.”
At the core of social justice in the banana sector is the need for banana producers to have access to a living income. This means that farmers should have sufficient revenues to cover all essential costs (food and water, clothing, housing, etc.) plus a little extra to create a buffer for unforeseen expenses.
“In many ways, this is the main condition for both social and environmental sustainability as studies have shown that agriculture becomes more environmentally friendly if the producers have access to a decent income,” Port said.
“Consumers of the super banana can therefore be assured: buying this banana will be good for banana producers, the environment and the climate. A trade-off between different aspects of sustainability is no longer needed. “
While it welcomed this new step towards sustainability in the banana sector, Fairtrade Belgium said more effort is needed to make sure that all bananas sold in Belgium abide by ambitious sustainability criteria.
“According to a research of Fairtrade, 62 per cent of the Belgian population believes that the Covid crisis should push governments to encourage a transition towards sustainable food systems,” the association said.
“Respecting the rights of farmers and workers in the agri-food system and in particular the right to a decent income should therefore be at the core of this transition. It is time for all Belgian actors involved in the banana value chain to commit together to sustainability and to set ambitious goals.”