Since 2012, Ecuadorian fair trade bananas have been available in Sweden. Now, ProEcuador is working to increase the volume of certified fruit and push availability for such bananas among Swedish consumers.
Around 8,900 tons (MT) of fair trade bananas from different countries were marketed in Sweden last year.
ProEcuador manager Edgar Narvaez elaborated on opportunities in the Swedish market and challenges for the Ecuadorian product.
“Swedish society, in general, is very involved and interested in social topics and in fair distribution of wealth. This makes Sweden an interesting destination that offers opportunities for products with high social standards that respect the rights of workers and those of everyone involved in small-scale production,” Narvaez said.
To improve sales in Sweden, Ecuador must be promoted as a country that respects worker rights, the commercial director said.
Narvaez explained that Sweden is a major fruit and vegetable market, due to its limited capacity to produce fresh produce on its own.
“With more than 12 kg. eaten per capita, Sweden is a big banana consumer. Currently, the fair trade offer available on the Swedish banana market is relatively limited. So possibility for volume growth is significant. About six containers of certified fruit are now sold, which we hope to double over the next three years,” he said.
“Bananas are definitely one of the most consumed fruits in Sweden. They can be found in all types of markets, convenience stores, and big and small supermarkets. They are also readily available on kitchen tables and in all types of institutions at meal time.”
Narvaez added that within Europe there are a variety of other important markets for fair trade products. The Ecuadorian organization is constantly looking for possibilities to enter new sectors or increase availability.
“This year we will carry out specific studies on the fair trade market, promotional activities for certified fruit in Sweden and workshops on Ecuador to explain the possibilities for small producers,” he said.