Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Are Dole bananas really the “Ethical Choice”?

Are Dole bananas really the “Ethical Choice”?

New research highlights the plight of banana workers in the Philippines

Bananas sold by Dole in New Zealand carry a sticker that says “Ethical Choice”. A research report undertaken by Philippines research organisations and released by Oxfam New Zealand today, suggests that the treatment of workers on Dole’s Philippine banana plantations is anything but ethical. These are the plantations that supply bananas for the New Zealand market.

The report, The Labour and Environmental Situation in Philippine Banana Plantations Exporting to New Zealand, documents children 15 years old and under working eight to 12 hours a day, harassment of workers for joining a union, aerial pesticide spraying while workers are on the plantations, and environmental damage.

These are disturbing findings. Oxfam New Zealand has asked Dole to take urgent action to address these issues.

Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand, said, “It’s time for Dole to stop making unsupported claims that they are selling ethically produced bananas. This research report shows the opposite – Philippine workers growing Dole bananas are subject to unfair and unhealthy treatment.

“New Zealand consumers deserve better than company greenwashing. We are calling on Dole to drop the ‘Ethical Choice’ label,” he said.

In August 2012 the New Zealand Commerce Commission warned Dole New Zealand that its self-created “Ethical Choice” labels may breach the Fair Trading Act. The competition watchdog said the “Ethical Choice” stickers displayed on Dole's fruit, website and marketing materials may mislead consumers into believing that the company had gained independent third-party verification, and that it was more ethical than its competitors.

“Companies must be able to justify what they say about their products. Misleading claims may be good for company profits, but they are confusing for consumers. There is no quicker way to lose consumer trust,“ said Coates.

Consumers have a powerful choice and voice. When New Zealand shoppers reach for bananas to put in the trolley, they can now choose Fairtrade certified bananas. These are independently verified, so people can be confident they are benefiting farmers and workers, rather than exploiting them.

“This is a critical challenge, not just for companies like Dole, but for the supermarkets that sell their products as well. When customers walk into a store, they deserve the confidence that the products on sale there aren’t harming people on the other side of the world,” said Coates.

Dole has agreed to meet with Oxfam representatives in New Zealand and the Philippines to discuss the issues highlighted in the report.

“We’re please to be engaging positively with Dole about these research findings. It’s vital that workers and the environment are treated with respect both here in New Zealand and globally, and we look forward to improvements in the future.

“However, in the present, Dole should stop using the ‘Ethical Choice’ label and shoppers should keep an eye out for credible independent verification, rather than company claims,” said Coates.

The report The Labour and Environmental Situation in Philippine Banana Plantations Exporting to New Zealand can be downloaded from the Oxfam website here

ENDS 

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Fossils: Ancient Penguins Lived Alongside Dinosaurs?

Penguins are much older than previously thought and their evolution probably dates back to the days of the dinosaurs, according to research on the fossilised leg bone and toes of a giant ancient penguin found in rocks near Waipara, North Canterbury. More>>

No Voda/Sky: Commission Declines Clearance For Merger

The Commerce Commission has declined to grant clearance for the proposed merger of Sky Network Television and Vodafone New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Power: IEA Report On New Zealand's Energy System

Outside of its largely low-carbon power sector, managing the economy’s energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions while still remaining competitive and growing remains a challenge. More>>

ALSO:

NASA: Seven Earth-Size Planets Around A Single Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Transport Case: Men Guilty Of Corruption And Bribery Will Spend Time In Jail

Two men who were found guilty of corruption and bribery in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) trial have been sentenced in the Auckland High Court today... The pair are guilty of corruption and bribery offences relating to more than $1 million of bribes which took place between 2005 and 2013 at Rodney District Council and Auckland Transport. More>>

ALSO:

Hager Raid: Westpac Wrong To Release Bank Records To Police

The Privacy Commissioner has censured Westpac Banking Corp for releasing without a court order more than 10 months of bank records belonging to the political activist and journalist Nicky Hager during a police investigation into leaked information published in Hager's 2014 pre-election book, 'Dirty Politics'. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news