What is in a label? Rainforest-Alliance certified banana production versus non-certified conventional banana production

Hans-Willem van der Waal
Managing Director at AgroFair Europe BV

This is the title of a paper published last year about the ecological impact of Rainforest Alliance certification of bananas. The study was done by researchers of Stockholm University and Wageningen University.

“Look mummy, a ladybird on my strawberry, oh, a butterfly on my apple, and here, even a frog on my banana”, the conclusions of the paper do not support this idyllic picture:

“The study focused on insect and bird diversity as an indicator of ecosystem health. Five RA certified farms, six non-RA certified farms, and five organic certified farms were sampled.” The farms were all located in Costa Rica.

“The results showed that RA certified farms had less insect diversity compared to non-RA certified farms and that both farm types had less insect diversity than organic farms. There was little difference between RA and non-RA certified farms with regards bird community composition.”

It looks like there is work to do for many RA certified farms. Fortunately, we also know banana farms that are passionate about biodiversity! Passion has more impact than a label!

Read the whole article on: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351989416300543