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New Study Assesses Impacts of Fairtrade on Banana Producers-It’s Complicated

Independent research commissioned by the Fairtrade Foundation (the UK labeling initiative of FLO, Fairtrade International) and carried out by the Institute of Development Studies (at the University of Sussex) assessed the impact of Fairtrade on banana producers in the Windward Islands (Caribbean nations of the West Indies), Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Ghana. In short, the impacts for small farmers as well as hired labor on plantations are complicated. The study used qualitative research methods for several case studies during 2009-2011.

The study includes 3 banana coops and 3 banana plantations located in 4 different countries (coops in Dominican Republic, Winward Islands, and Ecuador; plantations in DR, Ecuador, and Ghana). It also includes a value chain analysis of the UK banana market. The report is the outcome of interviews with 107 small producers, 116 workers and numerous focus group discussions with workers’ committees and Joint Bodies within these case studies. To understand practices along the banana value chain, interviews were also carried out with importers, ripening companies and retailers that trade in Fairtrade bananas in the UK. The study itself is 160 pages.
Read the summary and Fairtrade Foundation response

Read the full IDS report

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