Aldi commits to sourcing 'sustainable' bananas
Company opts for Rainforest Alliance accredited produce
Aldi has become the latest UK supermarket to commit to sustainable banana sourcing and will make the switch by the end of the year.
Aldi will source some 93% of its bananas from Rainforest Alliance-accredited farms, with the remainder sourced from Fairtrade Foundation farms.
Aldi previously sourced around 15% of its bananas from either RFA or Fairtrade farms, and was placed bottom in a ranking of the major multiples in the Fairtrade Foundation’s Supermarket Scorecard for sustainable sourcing in 2014.
The commitment on bananas was a response to customer demand for sustainably sourced fresh produce, said Aldi's head of supply Tony Baines.
“Our customers increasingly tell us they want to be sure that the high quality, fresh produce they buy is sustainably sourced in a way that protects the environment and is fair to suppliers,” he added. “We can do this because our unique model, long-term supplier relationships and operational efficiency mean we can offer quality products at straightforward prices.”
Aldi’s move to sustainable sourcing was welcomed by campaign group Banana Link, but added that “big question marks” remain over RFA labour standards verification and the lack of a minimum price for growers. Spokes person for Banana link, Alistair Smith said
“RFA certification is better than nothing but not by that much,” he added. “The big attraction for retailers is of course the easy consumer message on frogs and trees - but this should be no cover for the more difficult task of making serious environmental social and economic improvements to a very damaging and genetically vulnerable monoculture.”
The discounter’s pledge follows a move by Asda in March to switch to 100% sustainable bananas and Lidl who announced in February it would make a similar commitment by the end of the year.
It leaves Morrisons and Tesco as the only major UK supermarkets yet to commit to sustainable banana sourcing through either the RFA or Fairtrade Foundation. A spokeswoman for Tesco said it was working closely with its suppliers to ensure employment standards improved across its banana supply chain.
Sainsbury’s, The Co-op and Waitrose are the only supermarkets to only stock Fairtrade bananas.
Further Reading: Which Supermarket is the Most Ethical?
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