Make Fruit Fair - The Time is RIpe

Image: Paola Prinzis

Ever wanted to ask supermarkets about what’s behind their products? Then stay tuned, because today is the day to take action, and together with many others around Europe, build pressure and promote transparency for big supermarket chains.

From today until Sunday, Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust (KKĠ), as part of the European campaign Make Fruit Fair!, are promoting online action for consumers - particularly targeting LIDL.

KKĠ is a local organisation that works to raise awareness on Fair Trade and ethical consumption as well as offer alternatives to conventional trade (which isn’t Fair Trade). KKĠ are participating in the EU-funded campaign called Make Fruit Fair! which  is a consortium of NGOs from Europe, and small farmer organisations and plantation worker unions from Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, that works to improve living and working conditions for the people who grow, pick, and pack the tropical fruit that we buy in our markets every day.

Starting from today, the 18th of May, until Sunday the 21st, the Make Fruit Fair! campaign is encouraging consumers to take action on Lidl’s social media to ask them questions relating to Human Rights and tropical fruit - using the hashtag #asklidl.

Image: Marthese Formosa

Throughout the campaign, different retailers and fruit companies were targeted. Lidl is the supermarket chain that is spread across the most countries in Europe, including in Malta. However, despite Lidl Malta falling under the jurisdiction of Lidl Italy – which offers Fair Trade bananas to their customers - in Malta, this is not the case.

Exploitation in the tropical fruit industry is ripe – pun intended. Workers work long hours, get paid peanuts (another food pun!), and are sometimes exposed directly or indirectly to toxic pesticides. In certain countries, most notably in Latin America, workers also have problems joining unions, which would fight for their rights.

Today is the day to show Lidl that people care. From the comfort (or studious/frustrated/desperation…) of your own internet devices, you can contribute to this movement.

All you need to do is to post on Lidl’s International and Lidl Malta Facebook pages, questioning Lidl about worker’s rights. You can submit your own questions, but KKĠ has also shared some template questions which can be used.

  • On banana plantations people are often exposed to toxic pesticides @lidl Health is a Human Right. How does Lidl protect it? #asklidl

  • On banana plantations in Ecuador, members of trade unions are often discriminated and dismissed @lidlmalta What will you do to protect Workers’ Rights? #asklidl

  • Many LIDL supermarkets around Europe supply Fair Trade banana @lidlmalta When will you offer this in Malta? #asklidl

  • Tropical Fruit workers that work the most, earn the least @lidlmalta you have the power to raise people out of poverty. Will you do it? #asklidl

Image: Paola Prinzis

How many of us eat banana every day? How many of us read up about where these commodities come from? The products that we buy stand for something; it’s time we put pressure so that the products would stand for something good.

Your support is likely to be more valuable than you think! Don’t be discouraged thinking that nothing will change – if LIDL answers the questions, then we will have answers. If they choose to delete the comments, then it means they are taking notice.

So come on, open that facebook tab that we all keep open anyway, and instead of scrolling through your wall AGAIN, go on the Lidl page and take part!

You can follow Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust on their page for more information or visit www.makefruitfair.org and www.storyofbanana.com

Written by

Marthese Formosa

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Make Fruit Fair - The Time is RIpe

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