Travelling Through Fair Trade Markets - Zoom in on Bananas :: by Inês Lopes
Written by ines September 09th
Yesterday we went all the way to Thailand to discover fair trade rice that usually travels to us. Today, again by means of photojournalist Éric St-Pierre’s pictures, we head off to find fair trade bananas in the Dominican Republic.
Photography by Éric St-Pierre (www.ericstpierre.ca)
Time to think of a banana split. Mouth watering indeed, but a whole lot less when you know just what is involved with banana farming. Bananas are quite inexpensive for us, because it’s the growers who pay the price. Large multinational companies’ only criteria is low-cost production. Équiterre’s Isabelle St-Germain reminds us that it is the workers’ health, quality of life and revenues that ultimately absorb the cost of these policies. Not only that, pesticides are often used on these banana plantations. That too has repercussions on workers’ health, as well as on that of the local population.
“Take Costa Rica for example, its pesticide poisoning rate is three times as high in banana regions than the rest of the country. 90% of pesticides spread by air are lost in the environment and find themselves in the local ecosystem and thus in the food chain, which then leads to higher mortality and deformity rates in the local fauna.” (free translation; from Équiterre’s press release, quoted on materre.ca)
By prioritizing the purchase of fair trade bananas instead of the conventional variety, you allow, amongst other things, families in Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Ghana, and the Dominican Republic to enjoy better social and environmental conditions.
Next week, an amazing photo by Éric St-Pierre shows us where fair trade rice comes from.
Éric St-Pierre, photojournalist