The Dutch producer-owned sustainable banana importer AgroFair, know of the Oké banana, extends its voluntary additional payment to cover Covid-csoss of its producers to include all volume supplied in the second semester of 2020. AgroFair took the initiative with a first $ 0.05 per box voluntary payment over the 2nd quarter of 2020, when the effects of the pandemic on the banana suppliers became evident. As a result of the pandemic, banana producers suffered strong obstacles in the production. They had to take measures to protect workers against the risk of infection, suffered costs of failures in the supply of packaging material, and where severely affected by curfews limiting their working hours. This caused in some cases also higher costs of quality claims.
Says Hans-Willem van der Waal, the CEO of AgroFair: “We are happy that we can offer an additional payment to our producers. They have had a difficult time and significantly higher costs. On our side, we have had lower costs. The shipping costs were lower than predicted, because of the strong fall in oils prices since March 2020. Instead of pocketing this advantage, we have decided to share it. The producers have gone to great lengths to guarantee constant supplies, allowing us to serve our customers. At the same time that many companies are just talking about living wages, we decided to do what is in our power. We had hoped other companies would have followed suit.”
AgroFair acknowledges that the voluntary additional payment may not cover all costs producers have related to Covid. However, in a commodity business where margins are very thin, it is still an important gesture.