LatAm banana groups attack Aldi for "double standards" as pricing row heats up

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LatAm banana groups attack Aldi for

Organizations representing banana exporters and growers have slammed discount retail Aldi over its decision to cut the price it pays to growers next year.

The German-based company, one of the largest buyers of bananas in Europe, reportedly plans to cut its 2021 price by €0.06 per kilo, taking the per-box price down to €11.33.

In a joint statement, industry associations from Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Costa Rica accused the retailer of the “double standards” and said the decision will have consequences for producers.

Aldi has come under heavy pressure from the Latin American banana industry over recent years for lowering the price to pays to growers while also requiring higher sustainability credentials.

"Producing in a sustainable way entails costs which are assumed exclusively by the producer, while the rest of the value chain actors avoid any responsibility," the statement said. "We, therefore, denounce that supermarkets like Aldi do not assume their share of responsibility and maintain an opaque negotiating position that endangers the subsistence of the producers."

The banana groups said that Aldi's decision contradicts the German government's position to ensure fair relations between the actors of the food chain. 

It also says that it contradicts the EU's sustainability targets and Sustainable Development Goals.

"We believe it is essential that the entire value chain must be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable, and to this end, it is necessary to implement an effectively shared responsibility that redistributes the costs associated with sustainability along the entire value chain," the statement said.

It urged legislation to be developed in this area to avoid retailers being able to take this kind of action.

"But until then, retailers must assume their share of responsibility and stop bargaining over prices that undermine the producer's livelihood," it said.

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