The first links of the supply chain are the cultivation and harvesting of bananas. Once the fruit has been planted, it takes 10 months to 13 months to produce harvest-ready bananas. At this stage, bananas are still green, but have already developed their distinctive curved shape. The fruit is packed after harvest. In this process, features like size and the condition of the peel are inspected. The fruit is then washed.
- The use of pesticides and fertilizer
- Pest and fungal infestations, particularly in monoculture farming
- Deforestation and destruction of biotopes, threat to biodiversity
- Compensation below the breadline
- Violations of human and labour rights (prohibition of unions, child labour)
- Poor occupational safety conditions, including health threats from exposure to pesticides
- Threat to potable water supplies
REWE Beste Wahl bananas and Chiquita bananas bear the PRO PLANET label. The condition needed to receive the PRO PLANET label is certification under the SAN standard of the Rainforest Alliance, an organisation that promotes environmentally conscious and socially responsible banana farming and harvesting methods. The criteria include
- The controlled use of pesticides
- Training, medical checkups and protective clothing for workers
- A statutory minimum wage
- A package of actions designed to protect and nurture biodiversity
REWE Group has reached a binding agreement with farmers that includes a pledge to meet a large number of additional criteria that the standard views as optional. These criteria include regular medical checkups and special training for people who work with pesticides.
The Banana Fund established by REWE Group finances social and environment projects with a total budget of 600,000 euros in 2015 (2014: 300,000 euros). Two focal points of the fund's work are support programmes for children and adolescents and protection of biodiversity. An advisory board consisting of REWE, Dole, Chiquita and Caritas Costa Rica decides how the fund's financial support will be used. The implementation of the projects and the orderly use of the money are monitored by the German organisation Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit International Service (GIZ-IS) GmbH.
The cultivation of organic bananas is assured by a number of environmentally conscious production methods, including:
- Strict rules governing the use of pesticides and fertilizers with a positive effective on workers' health
- A prohibition of genetic engineering
World Banana Forum of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation
REWE Group is an active member of the World Banana Forum of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation, a dialogue platform for banana-production stakeholders and the sales chain that addresses the social and environmental challenges faced by the banana industry
SA8000 (Social Accountability 8000)
Some banana plantations have been certified in accordance with the labour- and human-rights standard SA8000, which monitors compliance with minimum social standards at producing companies
The REWE Beste Wahl brand with the PRO PLANET label:
About 60 per cent of the bananas come from Costa Rica, about 30 per cent from Ecuador
and approximately 10 per cent from Colombia. The percentage can vary from year to year.
Bananas must be transported overseas very quickly to prevent them from ripening too early. The transport by refrigerated ship takes two to three weeks. During this journey, the bananas are chilled to a temperature of 13 degrees Celsius to stop the ripening process.
|Ecuador||Philippines||Costa Rica||Guatemala||Colombia||Rest of the world|
- CO2 emissions caused by the overseas transport and chilling of bananas. The transport is done by ship or container.
The bananas are placed in a ripening chamber at the end of the journey. The ripening process is brought into motion again by raising the facility's temperature to 14 to 18 degrees Celsius. The bananas are yellow and aromatic four to seven days later. At the beginning of the ripening process, the fruit is treated with a ripening gas, ethylene, which most fruit produces on its own while ripening anyway.
Logistics / Distribution
The fruit is transported from the banana ripening chamber to a logistics centre and is then shipped to REWE Group stores.
REWE Group Stores
In the final step, consumers purchase the fruit at REWE Group stores – either directly in the store or through the delivery service.
- Demand is subject to seasonal fluctuations, creating the risk of overproduction
Environment & Social
- REWE Group informs and raises the awareness levels of customers with the PRO PLANET label and the PRO PLANET website
All figures that do not apply specifically to REWE Group were obtained from widely available business publications.