Important Update: Fair Trade and Organic Bananas

Canadians eat more bananas than any other single fruit. Unfortunately, bananas do not grow in Canada, so we must import them from much warmer regions and the cost to do so continues to increase.

There are just two importers of Fairtrade Bananas in Canada: Equifruit based in Quebec, and our supplier, Discovery Organics, based in Vancouver. They import fruit from two nations who have seen extreme environmental tragedy this year – Peru (devastating floods) and Mexico (extreme weather, flooding, and a recent earthquake) – making it all the more important to ensure growers in these regions are compensated fairly.

Next Tuesday, you may notice a slight increase in our banana price from $1.25/lb to$1.49/lb. At the new price, an average sized banana will come to approx 75c each.  

We want to be completely transparent about the reasons for this increase, so here is the breakdown of costs that Discovery Organics shared with us (in USD):

  • Fair trade premiums (approx. $1 per 40lb box) and licensing fees;
  • Currency conversion fees;
  • Inbound Freight + associated importing fees can range anywhere from $4000-$10000 per load;
  • Ocean container (Peruvian fruit) – 1080 cases/load. Subject to Customs fees, CFIA/CBSA inspections, exams, demurrage charge, local carrier fee;
  • Trucking (Mexican fruit) – 960 cases/load in a bonded truck. Subject to PARS fee (pre-arrival review system – includes CFIA and CBSA inspection fees) and customs broker fees at both borders;
  • Overhead at Discovery – storage and labour (unloading the container/truck, cutting, staging bananas and building them onto an order);
  • Outbound freight charge and fuel surcharge $0.22/lb which comes to $8.80/case.

Earth’s General Store has been involved with the Fair Trade movement since our inception in 1991. We are passionate about not only providing a fair price to customers but also providing a fair and living wage to growers. This is why we continue to support the Fairtrade Banana Program at Discovery Organics and we hope that you choose to as well!

For more information about the impact of Fairtrade Bananas, follow this link