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Colombian banana producers comply with new EU worker salary standards

The Association of Banana Growers of Colombia (Augura) and its members, producers, and international marketers announced that they comply with the new requirements demanded by the European Union as of 2023, where salary valuation is highlighted as an important factor for agribusiness collaborators.

Emerson Aguirre Medina, president of Augura 

“Our affiliates in Uraba have 111% compliance with the Living Wage, according to the latest data provided by the IDH Sustainable Trade. This translates into receiving a salary sufficient to allow a decent standard of living for employees and their families. This indicator is equivalent to 1.8 the current legal monthly minimum wage in Colombia. In addition, in this región of Antioquia, 92% of the employees are unionized, let us remember that with Sintrainagro, the main unión, we have historically built together in favor of the sector and its workers", affirmed the president of Augura, Emerson Aguirre Medina.

He indicated that the new standards of the European Union´s from farm to fork program seek, in addition to Good labor and social practices, to promote a healthy food system that is respectful of the environment, hence the entry of farm products is restricted.

Deforested lands, and a goal, is to reduce the use of pesticides by 50% in this reduction the sector has been working with the Banana Research Center (Cenibanano) for the development of bio-inputs.
According to the entity, in international markets the high quality of Colombian bananas stands out, the certification of 100% of the farms in Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) and other fundamental and recognized seals in the world such as Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, Business Alliance for Secure Commerce (BASC, Sustainable Solutions for the Supply Chain (Sedex), International Classification of ISO standards (ICS), Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), among others.

In this sense, Aguirre Medina added: “We ask the various European buyers and supermarkets to have the same requirements for both Living Wage, environmental and social sustainability, for all their suppliers, to maintain a balance in the competitiveness of the fruit supply.”

As a final note, the union noted that the banana exports managed to maintain similar levels to those in 2021, when 102 million barrels of 20 kg were exported from January through November versus 100 million from January to November 2022 despite inflation, logistical problems, war between Ukraine and Russia, increased rainfall, and oversupply. 

For more information:
Emerson Aguirre Medina
Tel: +57 315 510 2981 

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