The human rights organization Oxfam accuses the producers of pineapples and bananas for German supermarkets against human rights violations. On the plantations in Costa Rica and in Ecuador the workers are defenseless against the use of pesticides and would be prevented from build union structures, Oxfam said on Tuesday.
Affected are also plantations of the Rainforest Alliance – were certified
German – the most important for bananas and pineapples sustainability label. supermarkets like Aldi, Edeka, Lidl and Rewe would promote tropical fruit growing with sustainability labels, said Oxfam. However, the states are also certified by the Rainforest Alliance plantations “catastrophic”.
Serious damage to health by pesticides
For its report “Sweet fruit, bitter truth” examined Oxfam working conditions of more than 200 workers in the two Latin American countries. Suppliers German retail chains spraying therefore highly toxic pesticides, for example, in Costa Rica. In Ecuador workers reported accordingly that while working on the field sometimes sprayed pesticides aircraft. Serious damage to health such as cancer, allergies or miscarriages are the result.
On many plantations minimum wages also would not be paid, not invoiced overtime and sabotaged the development of advocacy organizations criticized Oxfam. According to Oxfam, there was none of the 20 examined banana plantations independent employee representative. Instead, trade unionists had been placed on “black lists”.
Growing production costs, falling prices
“The supermarkets control aspects of the imported fruits meticulously and provide all supplies back at least toggling” criticized Oxfam labor law expert Franziska Humbert. At the same time they let that workers “poisoned” would and profits would generate under inhumane conditions. The company, as well as the policy, are under an obligation to improve conditions on the farms, called Humbert.
Germany imported last year, according Oxfam almost 1.5 million tons of bananas and pineapples worth nearly one billion euros. The selling price of the fruit was in the process dropped steadily in recent years despite increasing production costs.