Saturday, 14th October 17, Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust held the...

Make Fruit Fair! Project
Koperattiva Kummerċ...

Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue,...

Results - Campaign on Lidl

The Oxfam Germany study “Sweet Fruit, Bitter Truth”, which was published in May 2017, revealed serious failures to respect human rights and labour rights along the supply chain of German supermarkets.


Workers at pineapple and banana plantations in Costa Rica and Ecuador are exposed to poisonous pesticides, receive wages that are not enough to live on, and are threatened with being fired if they are active in trade unions – and this despite the fact that most examined plantations bear the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal, among them plantations that supply German supermarket chains such as Lidl, Aldi, Rewe and Edeka.


Upon discovery of these issues the “Make Fruit Fair!” was launched and have since been fighting for the workers’ rights. The Make Fruit Fair! consortium with 27 partners in Europe and the respective countries as well as thousands of supporters call on politicians and supermarkets to make sure that suppliers respect human and labour rights while receiving fair prices!


What has the MFF Campaign achieved so far:


Improvements in Costa Rica (pineapple)


-       Direct employment, minimum wage, social insurance: Most workers at Lidl’s pineapple supplier Finca Once are now directly employed, earn minimum wage and are covered by social security. According to the workers that we interviewed, only 200 of 1,500 workers are currently hired by subcontractors. In addition, all immigrants from Nicaragua are now having regular and permanent employment contracts. Before the study was published, the majority of workers from Nicaragua were hired by subcontractors with insecure 3-months contracts.


-       Reduction in the use of highly toxic agrochemicals: Lidl’s supplier Finca Once now only rarely uses harmful pesticides when workers are present. In June 2017, Costa Rica also prohibited the use of the highly toxic and extremely dangerous Bromacil – an herbicide that is not approved in the EU.


-       Company audits of pineapple and banana plantations by the ministry of labour: The ministry of labour began to carry out audits of 103 producers in 2016. The results were similar to those of the Oxfam study: no payment of overtime, insufficient health and occupational safety measures and regular dismissals. Following the audits, 51 of the audited producers fulfilled the measures ordered by the ministry, and by now 10,197 workers benefit from improved working conditions. Complaints were filed against 12 companies.


-       Partial closure of pineapple plantations: The Environmental Court and the environmental authority SETENA ordered the partial closure of several pineapple plantations due to the disastrous effects on the environment and drinking water supply.


Improvements in Ecuador (banana)


-       Company audits of banana plantations by the local supervisory authority: The local supervisory authority initiated company audits in 2016 on the initiative of our partner organisation ASTAC. They revealed the same issues as described in the Oxfam study: systematic violation of trade union rights, use of pesticides in breach of statutory re-entry safety periods for the fields. The local supervisory authority becoming aware of the issue is a first step. We hope that it will soon be followed up by actual action.


-       Our campaign has strengthened union rights in Ecuador: Due to a complaint of our partner union ASTAC, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommended that laws in Ecuador be amended and trade union rights be strengthened according to international standards.


-       Improved health protection at the plantation of Lidl’s supplier Matías: After the publication of the Oxfam study in June 2016, a decision was made extending the periods after which workers were allowed to re-enter the fields following application of pesticides. The workers were also provided with protective clothing. Unfortunately the situation has recently worsened once again.


Corrections to the sustainability certification of the Rainforest Alliance organization – concerning Costa Rica (pineapple) and Ecuador (banana)


-       Withdrawal of certification: Upon publication of the Oxfam study, Rainforest Alliance withdrew the certification of many certified plantations. The reason: repeated human rights violations, such as the systematic violation of trade union rights. The large supplier Grupo Acon in Costa Rica, which also supplies Aldi, lost its certification recently.


-       Improved company audits: Trade unions will now be surveyed regarding the situation on the plantations prior to Rainforest Alliance auditing of the plantations. This is a central step for preventing further greenwashing, such as certification of plantations where trade union rights are being systematically violated.


-       Trade union rights: Rainforest Alliance meets trade unions for the first time in its history. For an organization that monitors trade union rights this is an essential step towards trade union freedom.


Successes of the Make Fruit Fair! is the result of the committed shown by many people. To achieve holistic and sustainable improvements, the MFF requires commitment of the "other side". Supermarkets need to assume responsibility here – above all Lidl. The group could and should be a pioneer based on its status as market leader. This is why the MFF! members will not rest and keep up the pressure on Lidl und Co.

Koperattiva kummerc gust: 

News & Events

11 May 2018

As part of the Make Fruit Fair! project Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust is releasing several items for promotional materials.

We can post anyone in Malta with any of these promotional materials for free. Get in touch with us on and we'll get back to you.


11 May 2018

In October 2016, KKĠ met its MFF project partners in Vienna during which meeting project partners discussed the goals of the MFF campaign after being inspired by detailed information about unfair commercial practices which push people into poverty.

During the meeting there was an...


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