Longo Brothers Fruit Market Commits to Offering Only Fairtrade Bananas
TORONTO, CANADA - Consumers are continuing to demand more ethically sourced products to be put onto shelves, and retailers are paying attention. Longo Brothers Fruit Market reports that it has become one of the first grocery retailers in North America to commit to offering only Fairtrade bananas in all 36 of its stores. This is made possible through a partnership with the Canadian company, Equifruit.
“We aim to be the most trusted and relied upon food partner, and that includes setting sustainability precedents,” said Mike Longo, Chief Merchandising Officer at Longo’s. “We’re proud to be the first North American retailer to initiate what is becoming a global purchasing standard for bananas.”
The landmark decision sets a new standard for sustainable produce supply chains in North America. According to the release, the announcement is aligned with Fairtrade Month, which takes place each May in Canada. With this commitment, Longo’s is ensuring that the farmers and communities where its bananas are sourced are guaranteed a fair and sustainable income and that farmers get financial and technical support to lower their impact on the environment.
For Longo’s, a full commitment to Fairtrade bananas comes as the latest in a long line of sustainability initiatives centered around environmental stewardship; responsible sourcing; and healthy communities, including waste diversion, use of renewable energy, and community donations.
Effective yesterday, May 6, all 36 locations of Longo’s and Grocery Gateway delivery began exclusively offering both conventional and organic Fairtrade bananas.
“Produce has always been the backbone of our business, and responsible sourcing is not only incredibly important to us but is at the core of our family values,” said Mimmo Franzone, Director of Produce and Floral at Longo’s. “We are proud to be taking these important steps with Equifruit to ensure we can continue to fuel happier and healthier lives around the globe for years to come.”
As noted in the release, Fairtrade aims to create more respectful trading partnerships between producers and consumers. To meet these goals, Longo’s was chosen as a partner on this project with Equifruit, to connect with its guests on both supply and support with in-store messaging.
In meeting Fairtrade’s social sustainability standards, Equifruit and Longo’s will reinvest $1 back to the communities where the bananas were produced for every standard 40 lb case sold. These funds are used for projects like clean water facilities, schools, and health clinics.
“Fairtrade standards provide essential income stability to banana farmers working in an otherwise highly volatile market and empower them to invest in their communities,” said Jennie Coleman, President of Equifruit. “Fairtrade purchasing is the most pragmatic approach to ensuring these communities continue to develop and provide the world with its favourite staple fruit.”
To meet International Fairtrade standards, banana producers must provide fair wages and safe working conditions for workers, forbid child labour, minimize the use of chemicals, and properly sustain the local environment. Learn more about the impacts of Fairtrade banana production here.
AndNowUKnow will continue to seek and report on all of the ways our industry pushes fresh and sustainable produce forward, so keep checking back for the latest.