Europe could do a lot to support pineapple and bananas producers in the South of the world. It could for instance support policies that encourage fair and sustainable fruit production. This is the objective of the Make Fruit Fair campaign.

Stop supermarkets abusing their buyer power and exploiting poor workers, small farmers and local communities. This is the objective of the international campaign “Make Fruit Fair”, which is collecting signatures to send a petition to the European Union and call for more regulation along the fruit supply chain.

The initiative is promoted by four European organizations (Banana Link, Nazemi, Banafair e Peuples Solidaires), that believe a sustainable and fair pineapples and bananas’ market is possible and needed and want to stop to human rights violations, unfair salaries and unjust working conditions. The reasons behind the initiative are well explained in “Competition Law and the New Slavery”, a report written by Dr Iain Farquhar for Mff. The paper describes the evolution of the competition mechanism within supply chains, with a focus on supermarkets. The report highlights the overall impoverishment of farmers’ economies, the increasing food standardization and the growing power of supply chains.

In Europe, where five supermarket chains control about 60% of the grocery retail sector, there is no competition policy that covers abuses of buying power and their impact on non-EU suppliers.

“Competition Law protects the consumer’s right to be serviced by slaves.” We read in the report. Chiquita is among the multinational companies involved with this distorted Competition law. The company has a yearly turnover of about 3 billion dollars, works in 70 countries, has 21.000 employees and will be soon called to court to account for the part played in the money paid to death squads in Colombia. According to Cohen Milstein law office, which protects the victims of the terrorist group United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, the famous banana brand gave substantial and continuous support to the group. “Complicity in the atrocities committed by paramilitary groups” that thanks to the verdict of the judge Kenneth Marra of the Southern District of Florida will be evaluated also according to the Colombian jurisdiction. Marco Simons, of Earthrights, believes it is a fundamental step forward, after more than 10 years spent in trying to bring the facts in front to a court. The contested events took place between 1997 and 2004, when Chiquita admitted to have negotiated peace in the plantations by giving in exchange money, weapons and free access to weapons loads in its harbors.