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Aldi banana price hike is a step forward…but not enough
German supermarket chain ALDI will increase the price of bananas by €0.9 per kilo (€1.63 per box) or US$1.84 by 2022, Reefer Trends reports. The decision comes after Latin American banana producers and exporters spent months denouncing the huge inequity in the market, where costs continue to rise but the purchase price remains constant.
ALDI is the biggest buyer of bananas in Europe and its purchase price is used as a reference price for the other buyers. No one will be willing to pay more than what ALDI pays. However, when you consider that average freight costs are going up by $1.90 and carton costs are going up by $1/carton, banana producers are already running a deficit of $1.06/carton. All of this is without taking into account increased costs at the production level, such as fertilizer, which has increased by 45 percent, the cost of preventing Fusarium RT4 or measures against COVID -19.
ALDI recognizes the need to pay a fair price for bananas, as demanded by Latin American banana producers and exporters. Nevertheless, the price increase does not cover the higher costs incurred.
“In order for producers to maintain the sustainability and quality standards required by the European Union and the United Kingdom, it is necessary to pay a fair price and develop a system of shared responsibility that extends from producers to buyers, including retailers,” says Richard Salazar, president of the Association of Banana Marketing and Export of Ecuador (ACORBANEC) and member of the Banana Cluster of Ecuador.
“We are very concerned about the aspirations of European supermarkets in the negotiations, which do not take into account the reality of international markets and the year 2022.
On October 27, at our 18th International Banana Congress, we will join with the banana countries of the region to announce a Shared Responsibility Agreement – the mechanism that ensures the commitment of all stakeholders to the sustainability of the global banana industry.
We hope that the supermarkets of the European Union will act consistently on the issues related to sustainability and the future of the Latin American banana sector, understanding that the sacrifices cannot come only from the countries of origin. Only together will we achieve this around the world so that you can continue to find bananas in supermarkets,” says Juan José Pons, intersectoral coordinator of the Ecuadorian banana cluster.
Although ALDI’s actions are a good sign for the banana sector, there is still a long way to go. That is why the Ecuadorian banana cluster and the task force from seven Latin American countries are calling for further actions related to shared responsibility that will guarantee the profitability of our sector, which is committed to sustainability and high quality.