Bananas

Bananas

SUSTAINABLE SOURCING OF BANANAS

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Bananas are one of our most popular products, grown and produced in countries on the equator and shipped into the UK every day. As bananas can be grown by both smallholder farmers and on large plantations, it is important that we understand our supply chains well to make sure we are able to support sustainable and ethical production in the most appropriate way.

Bananas and plantains are produced in more than 123 countries worldwide and are one of the top ten crops globally in terms of yield produced, area occupied and calories provided. The Cavendish variety, which is the type of banana most commonly sold in Europe, comes from warm climates with limited winds such as Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador. Export revenues from bananas contribute significantly to the local economies of these regions and, as a whole, the sector provides employment for thousands of people. 

Learn what we are working on in our other fruit and veg supply chains here.

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Our Commitment

We are committed to sourcing 100% of our bananas from either Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade certified sources.

Transparency

We are working closely with our suppliers to increase supply chain transparency. This includes closely checking every box of bananas as it moves from farms, through packhouses, onto ships and into our stores. Every box of bananas in our stores clearly states the country of origin and we use this knowledge to help support our sustainability initiatives.  In addition to this we have examined our Fairtrade banana supply chain in more detail to gather deeper insights to the sourcing locations. See where our Fairtrade bananas are sourced here.

Advocating for Living Wages for Smallholders

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In order to understand the impact of third-party certification schemes, our key banana supplier has undertaken a Fairtrade impact study within Colombia and the Dominican Republic. This study, which engaged 26 producer organisations, 32 worker focus groups and conducted over 800 worker surveys, has helped Lidl to understand the impact of the Fairtrade system on incomes for smallholder producers. We will use the findings from this study to enhance the ongoing impact of Fairtrade for the workers and farmers in our supply chain.

WORLD BANANA FORUM

We recognise the need to work with a wider group of stakeholders to effectively advocate for progress in the banana industry. As well as the measures undertaken within our own supply chains, in 2016 we became the first discount retailer to become a member of the World Banana Forum multi-stakeholder initiative (WBF). Through this forum we are advocating for sector-level environmental and social improvements. This includes supporting the sector to achieve living wages, where in collaboration with WBF, the Global Living Wage Coalition and Fairtrade we have supported living wage benchmarks and promoted the strategic use of Fairtrade premiums.

Women in the Banana Sector

Banana farming has traditionally been a male-dominated activity, particularly in the Dominican Republic, with cultural attitudes considering it an inappropriate activity for women and certain tasks considered not suitable to be undertaken by women.

It is estimated that women make up 13% of Fairtrade banana farmers and workers on plantations. By raising awareness of issues such as sexual harassment and gender discrimination, there are significantly more workers on Fairtrade plantations than non-Fairtrade plantations with access to policies to support addressing these challenges.

Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing

Tea

We source 100% of our own brand black, green and rooibos tea from either UTZ, Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance third-party certification schemes. We recognise the social and environmental challenges facing tea production, and although we sell a small amount in comparison to the global output, we are committed to doing what we can to promote sustainable production.

Coffee

Global demand for coffee continues to grow steadily, especially in Europe. However, what coffee farmers earn from selling coffee in parts of South America and Africa is frequently still not high enough to secure their livelihoods. As a major retailer we are aware of our responsibility to ensure that the coffee we sell is sourced in a sustainable manner that improves working conditions and tackles wider social challenges.

Fruit & Veg

Lidl GB is committed to sourcing fruit and vegetables in a responsible and sustainable way. This includes supporting the British farming economy and, when seasonally possible, sourcing fruit and vegetables from long-term British suppliers.

Plants & Flowers

Lidl GB is committed to British sourcing and, when seasonally possible, sources plants and flowers from long-term British suppliers. Due to the growth and nature of the horticultural industry, most of the plants and flowers grown within Europe come from the Netherlands and Italy, whilst a large portion of production takes place in countries where climate conditions are more favourable to grow flowers all year around such as Colombia, Ecuador, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Soy

In the EU, around 90% of soy is used to feed livestock, so it is a vital raw material in the production of our meat, poultry, dairy and eggs. Environmental impacts of soy in countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay include soil erosion and degraded pastureland, biodiversity loss and carbon emissions.

Wood & Timber

Increasing global demand for low-cost timber products supports a multi-billion dollar business of illegal and unsustainable logging in forests worldwide. The world’s natural forests cannot sustainably meet this soaring global demand for timber products under weak forest management practices, making it critical that we take action to ensure that the wood-based fibres used in our products and packaging are from sustainable sources.

Textiles

Throughout every Lidl non-food collection, clothing, accessories and home textiles are a core element. As a major buyer of these products, Lidl has a great responsibility when it comes to living, working and environmental conditions in manufacturing countries.

Palm Oil

Palm oil is best grown near the equator, with Indonesia and Malaysia being the major producing countries for the global export market. When grown in a non-sustainable way, palm oil can lead to devastating deforestation and harm to the natural environment. We are committed to sourcing all of our palm oil from third-party sustainable sources.

Bananas

Bananas are one of our most popular products, grown and produced in countries on the equator and shipped into the UK every day. As bananas can be grown by both smallholder farmers and on large plantations, it is important that we understand our supply chains well to make sure we are able to support sustainable and ethical production in the most appropriate way.

Seafood

At Lidl GB, our principles of responsible fish and seafood sourcing are to ensure that the fish sold within our product ranges are sourced from the healthiest stocks possible using the least destructive fishing methods, with high regard for both environmental and social standards. Safe-guarding fish stocks for the future is an issue we are passionate about and we are proud of the progress we have made.

Animal Welfare

Through our partners including Red Tractor and RSPCA Assured, alongside animal welfare focussed NGO's, we have specialised contacts placed throughout the industry that can help advise and help action continuous improvement.
We have created strong supplier relationships through our lean buying practices and by championing British farming, we are able to provide product with leading-welfare standards, at an affordable price.