We’re not into smoke and mirrors. We build up our pricing based on two fundamental pillars: the Fairtrade minimum price and the Fairtrade premium. As licensees of Fairtrade Canada, we have to respect standards for these two pillars set by Fairtrade International (which you can consult here) and if we don’t, we will lose our certification. The Fairtrade minimum is set by country and by commodity, and represents the cost of sustainable production. The Fairtrade premium is used by our producers to invest in community projects. If you’re buying a fair trade fruit, demand this sort of transparency! Otherwise, you’re just buying expensive bananas.
Nothing comes for cheap – and though bananas may be the cheapest fruit in your basket, it’s often at the expense of plantation workers. At Equifruit, we want to be sure that we’re not selling fruit tainted by exploitative labour practices. Our commitment to Fairtrade and organic farming is a commitment to supporting safe work environments and fair working conditions for our producers and their workers.
The Fairtrade “social premium” is an integral part of the Fairtrade contract: a 1 USD / case contribution to our producers’ communities. This means that a small part of every banana we sell is an investment in education, health services and community resources in disadvantaged communities in Peru, Ecuador and Mexico. Back here in Canada, Equifruit regularly donate bananas to educational and community groups (to the tune of $3000 in 2015), and excess inventory is donated to food banks.
We can trace each case of Equifruit down the small producer who grew it. We work directly with cooperatives of small producers, and since no one single producer has the capacity to fill an entire container-load of fruit to us each week, our packing lists show who contributed what to each load. Cases 3-17 on pallet 7? Those came from Martin Carreño Ojeda’s plot. And cases 1-11 on pallet 9? Those were from Maria Martina Villegas.