Almost two-thirds of people in a recent survey revealed they were willing to pay 10 cents more per pound of bananas if the fruit was certified as fair trade, bringing fresh impetus to a category usually considered as a loss leader.
A recent report on price elasticity in bananas from GlobeScan & Fairtrade America also showed 77% of people were likely to still purchase bananas if there was a five-cent increase for the fair trade premium.
"When the price is right, consumers state a strong willingness to pay a premium for fair trade bananas over those without a label. It shows that people will support retailers that take the extra step to invest in their supply chains,” GlobeScan US Director James Morris said in a release.
"This is a win-win. Retailers and brands benefit from having a Fairtrade choice in the center of the produce section,” added Fairtrade America business development manager Derek Mulhern.
"Providing customers with certified produce tells consumers that a business is serious about sharing the story of where their food comes from."
Fairtrade currently works with more than 12,000 small-scale farmers and 10,000 workers in 12 countries. Producer organizations in the Dominican Republic produce the highest volume of bananas, while those in Colombia sell the highest percentage on Fairtrade terms (78%).
Among those producers are the workers on Coliman farms in Mexico. These farms in Colima, Mexico, sell a high proportion of their organic bananas on Fairtrade terms resulting in significant Fairtrade Premium funds that workers invest according to their priorities.
Workers have elected to invest in more than 20 projects related to health, education, housing improvements and community support benefiting a total of 595 families and their communities.
“We’re committed to ensuring a safe and supportive workplace on our farms. Obtaining Fairtrade certification has helped us improve livelihoods of our workers and their families,” said Coliman Group sales manager Victor Heredia Armendariz.
"Our retail partners recognize that and take pride in helping create a more sustainable supply chain for everyone involved."
In the release, the organization highlighted 91% of Colombian workers had seen household assets increase by an average of 64% since their plantations became Fairtrade certified, while three-quarters of farmer cooperative members in Ecuador said their income and wellbeing had improved in the last three years.
“It’s clear that consumers recognize the value of Fairtrade, but retailers are also rewarded when they invest in the farmers and workers at origin,” said Fairtrade International global product manager for bananas, Silvia Campos.
"With more to invest in responsible production and their communities, banana producers will deliver high-quality products that support livelihoods well into the future."