Hamburg News: Trade and Finance. High-class shopping area in the city centre shown.
© Fair Trade Stadt Hamburg/Heike Siegert

Hamburg Fair Trade Week: more fair play in banana trade

Next to apples, Germans love bananas best.

About 1.3 million tonnes of bananas are being imported to Germany each year, as per capita consumption is rising steadily with currently 8.5 kilo per capita/p.a. A mere three per cent of fruit is handled by fairtrade. For comparison: The Swiss consume more than 50 per cent of fairtrade bananas. To find the reasons for this fact, and to promote fairness in the banana is thus a key issue of the fairtrade week in Hamburg. Hamburg has been recognised as Germany’s largest and the country’s 39h fairtrade town on 27 May 2011.

Bananas are “price fighters”

At the opening of this year’s fairtrade week in Hamburg, three industry player thus decided to co-operate: the Hamburg t and vegetable importer Mike Port of Port International, Sonja Tesch of the port group Hamburg that has been critising the injustices of world trade at alternatives harbor cruises for over 20 years, and Martin Beckmann, spokesman for the transport company Hamburg-Holstein AG (VHH). For three years, the VHH has been actively supporting fairtrade goals in their company canteens where, if possible, fairtrade produce is being used and sold.

“Still today, almost all supermarkets in Germany and Europe use bananas as “price fighters“for price-sensitive consumers, which note and compare prices”, explains Mike Port. “That’s why bananas are being calculated at rock-bottom to be the one of offer best price per kilo in retail.”

Fairtrade bananas hard to get

The consequence : even though fairtrade bananas only cost ten cents net more per kilo, fair trade bananas are still hard to get. “Unfortunately, we have still not able to convince one of the retail chains in Germany to exchange the conventional bananas for fairtrade bananas,” says MIke Port, who had been the first to import bananas with the fairtrade seal of approval to Europe.

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