ALDI's banana price increase is "a step forward, but not enough" - LatAm industry
The German supermarket chain, ALDI, will increase banana prices by €0.90 per kilogram making boxes €1.63 each, or US$1.02 per kilogram and $1.84 per box by 2022.
This effort comes after months of Latin American banana producers and exporters denouncing the unfariness in the market where costs continue increasing with purchase prices remaining the same.
ALDI is the largest banana buyer in the European market with the purchase prices set by this supermarket used as reference prices for other buyers.
"No one will be willing to pay more than what ALDI pays, however, seeing that the average increase in freight cost is $1.90 and cardboard is $1.00 per box, banana producers are already seeing a deficit of $1.06 per box," the Banana Cluster stated.
"And that is without accounting for the increase in costs at the production level, as is the case of fertilizers, which have increased by 45 percent, the costs of preventing Fusarium TR4 or Covid-19 measures."
The organization said that on the one hand, ALDI recognizes the need to pay a fair price for the fruit in accordance with the Latin American banana producers and exporters' requests.
"Even so, the price increase doesn't cover the increase for total costs accumulated which are often expenses that banana producers and exporters do not have control of."
"For producers to maintain sustainability and quality standards required by the EU and the UK, it is necessary to pay a fair price and develop a Shared Responsibility scheme, from producers to buyers, passing through retailers," Richard Salazar, president of the Banana Marketing and Export Association of Ecuador (ACORBANEC) and member of the Ecuadorian Banana Cluster said.
"We express great concern at negotiations by European supermarkets that ignore the reality of international markets and what 2022 holds."
On October 27, at the XVIII International Banana Convention we came together with the region's banana-producing countries to declare an agreement for shared responsibility in hopes that it ensures the commitment of all players in the global banana industry.
"We hope that EU supermarkets act consistently when looking at sustainability challenges and the future of the Latin American banana sector, understanding that sacrifices cannot come only from the countries of origin and that only together will we be able to continue finding the fruit in supermarkets of countries that enjoy the fruit and cannot continue to be oblivious to its reality," Juan José Pons, interpersonal coordinator of the Banana Cluster said.
Although ALDI's actions are a good sign for the sector, there is still a long way to go, the Cluster stated.
Because of this, the Banana Cluster and the task forces of seven Latin American countries demand more measures relating to shared responsibility that guarantee the profitability of the sector committed to sustainability and high quality.