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Sainsbury’s Pioneers Fair Wages for Banana Workers, Setting a New Industry Standard Ahead of Time

From today, every banana purchased at Sainsbury’s will contribute towards providing thousands of workers with a fairer wage and support the future of banana growers in Cameroon, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Ghana.



Last year, Sainsbury’s, along with nine other UK retailers convened by IDH, pledged to ensure banana workers – those employed on large banana plantations – would receive a living wage by 2027.


Sainsbury’s has now taken steps to address living wages three years ahead of this industry commitment.


The price Sainsbury’s pays for each box of bananas now includes the cost of the fruit plus a premium, which is invested into workers’ wages. This extra funding assists workers in covering essential costs such as food, housing, education, and healthcare, thereby improving their and their families' livelihoods.


The remainder of the premium is allocated towards environmental support, aiding banana growers in adopting sustainable farming practices. These include carbon capture, reducing water footprints, and enhancing biodiversity and soil health.


Sainsbury’s has also transitioned to four-year contracts, offering growers increased stability and financial security.


In collaboration with long-standing partner Fairtrade and banana supplier Fyffes, Sainsbury’s has made these changes feasible. The retailer is now encouraging others in the industry to meet the commitment early, ensuring all banana workers are paid a living wage.


Ruth Cranston, Sainsbury’s Director of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, stated, “Bananas are our best-selling fruit and by improving wages for this product, we can positively impact the lives of thousands of people in the countries we source from. However, we aim for every banana worker across the entire industry to benefit, and we cannot achieve this alone. That’s why we’re urging other retailers to act now, so all workers can be paid fairly.”


“By choosing Sainsbury’s bananas, our customers are supporting fairer pay for workers and tackling climate change, ensuring a thriving and sustainable banana industry for the future,” she added.


Minel Bellamir, an employee at Bananeros los Ríos Plantation in the Dominican Republic, expressed gratitude towards Fairtrade and the Fairtrade Premium for improving living conditions and wages. “Living wages mean more security, better housing, and the ability to provide education for my children. When Fairtrade and companies like Sainsbury’s collaborate and commit to supporting banana workers in earning decent wages, our families and communities have a better chance at establishing decent living conditions.”


Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation, highlighted the importance of closing the living wage gap for Fairtrade banana growers, praising Sainsbury’s for its groundbreaking commitment.


Diana Copper, UK Country Director at IDH, commended Sainsbury’s for its steps towards increasing banana workers’ pay, emphasizing the importance of responsible procurement practices and fair payment to suppliers.


Sainsbury’s, the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade bananas, has invested over £75 million via Fairtrade since 2000, improving social infrastructure for banana-producing communities. This investment has paved the way for a focus on wages and climate resilience, securing banana production for future generations.

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