Bananas are the most important traded fruits in the world in terms of export value.
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) publishes latest report focussing on the banana sector with an emphasis on sustainability. According to the report “Sustainable Commodity Marketplace Series: Bananas”, Bananas (including plantains) are the world’s fourth most important staple crop (after wheat, maize, and rice). The sector faces a variety of sustainability issues including crop disease, climate change impacts, excessive pesticide use, and poor labour practices.
Some key findings in the report:
- North America and Europe are driving demand for sustainably produced bananas, which have captured a 10% share of some markets.
- From 2008 to 2016, VSS-compliant bananas grew to account for at least 7% of the sector (36% of exports).
- VSS-compliance grew by a 43% compound annual growth rate over the same period.
- Rainforest Alliance, Organic, and Fairtrade are the top VSSs in the sector.
- Global banana consumption is estimated to hit 136 million tonnes by 2025, up 20 million tonnes from 2017.
- Bananas are a substantial source of nutrition and food security for more than 400 million people.
- Asia is the largest producing region, but 80% of exported bananas come from Latin America and the Caribbean.