A Danwatch investigation
Editor: Louise Voller
Redaktør: Louise Voller
Ecuadorean bananas come from one of three provinces: Guayas, Los Rios and El Oro. The fruit is cultivated here for 9-12 months until it is hand picked and packed by the workers on the banana plantation.
The green bananas are placed in containers that are cooled to under 14ºC in order to delay ripening. Then they are loaded onto cargo ships that take two weeks to cross the Atlantic and reach European ports.
Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas. Last year, the country exported 6.7 million tons of bananas. Many of them end up in Europe, where in 2016, 1 in 4 bananas came from a plantation in Ecuador.
Source: EU-rapport, 2017
The major exporters in Ecuador are Chiquita, AgroAmerica, Dole Food, Grupo Wong, Cipal, Fyffes, and the Ecuadorean family-owned business Noboa.
Increasingly, however, large European supermarket chains are circumventing the big fruit companies and buying bananas directly from the plantations.
When bananas arrive in European ports, they are still green and unripe. They are placed in ripening chambers for about a week, where ethyl gas turns the bananas ripe and yellow to make them ready for supermarket shelves.
In Denmark, conventionally farmed bananas from Ecuador are sold by the Coop, Dagrofa, Lidl and Aldi chains.
So far in 2017, Coop has bought 379 tons of bananas from supplier Chiquita. Dagrofa, whose supermarkets include Meny and Spar, has sold 19 tons of bananas from Ecuador this year. Lidl and Aldi both sell Ecuadorian bananas, but “for the sake of commercial considerations” preferred not to disclose how many.
Source: Own survey
Coop, Lidl og Aldi oplyser, at de kun importerer sprøjtede bananer, der er Rainforest Alliance certificerede, hvilket betyder, at de farligste pesticider ikke anvendes.
Rainforrest Alliance oplyser dog til Danwatch at kun to bananplantager i Ecuador rent faktisk er blevet monitoreret i efteråret 2017, da vi besøgte plantagerne.
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