Grocery retailer Longo’s Brothers Fruit Market has committed to offering only Fairtrade bananas in its 36 stores and through delivery on Grocery Gateway. This is made possible through a partnership with Equifruit. The decision sets a standard for sustainable produce supply chains in North America and is aligned with Fairtrade Month, which takes place each May in Canada.
With this commitment, Longo’s ensures 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 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.
Longo’s Brothers Fruit Market has committed to offering only Fairtrade bananas in its 36 stores and through delivery on Grocery Gateway.
“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 initiate what is becoming a global purchasing standard for bananas.”
Fairtrade aims to create more respectful trading partnerships between producers and consumers, and so Longo’s has partnered with Canadian Fairtrade banana importer and marketer Equifruit for supply and support with in-store messaging. In meeting Fairtrade’s social sustainability standards, Equifruit and Longo’s reinvest US$1 per standard 40lb case sold back to the communities where the bananas were produced. These funds are used for projects like clean water facilities, schools and health clinics.
“Fairtrade standards provide 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.”
Equifruit’s Jennie Coleman says Fairtrade standards provide income stability to banana farmers working in an otherwise highly volatile market and empower them to invest in their communities.
“Produce has always been the backbone of our business, and responsible sourcing is incredibly important and at the core of our family values,” said Mimmo Franzone, director of produce and floral at Longo’s.
Following a successful Longo’s pilot of Fairtrade-only bananas and the positive feedback from guests, Longo’s was confident that making this exclusive offering was the right decision for guests and a sustainable future.
To meet International Fairtrade Standards, banana producers must provide fair wages and safe working conditions for workers, forbid child labor, minimize the use of chemicals and properly sustain the local environment.
Effective yesterday, all 36 locations of Longo’s and Grocery Gateway delivery will exclusively offer both conventional and organic Fairtrade bananas.