Written by Tesco and originally posted on the Tesco website.
Bananas are our bestselling product in the UK and we source them all year round from countries around the globe.
It is important for our customers to know that the high-quality, fresh bananas they buy are sustainably sourced in a way that helps protect both the people who grow and pick them and the planet. We believe our bananas are amongst the most responsibly sourced in the industry.
We start by identifying the best suppliers who then partner with our unique team of locally-based experts in the key growing regions to meet our high ethical, environmental and quality standards.
We make long-term commitments to our banana farmers – in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and West Africa – and pay them an agreed sustainable cost for production, to ensure both suppliers and their workers will be fairly paid. Additionally, we commit to source a defined volume from our banana growers over a number of years, which enables them to plan ahead and effectively invest in their farms and workforces.
To help ensure the banana farms we source from are best-in-class we, and our suppliers, now work closely with the Rainforest Alliance, an international non-profit organisation that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods worldwide.
Since January 2017, all of our bananas have been sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, which is great news for our customers. The Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal on our bananas – a green frog nestled in a circle – helps us to tell the story of how they are sustainably sourced, and assure customers we are sourcing from responsibly-managed farms.
The benefits of partnering with the Rainforest Alliance are not limited to bananas and we have a number of initiatives that help us offer great quality sustainable and affordable products.
We recently conducted a review of cocoa sourcing schemes and committed to ensuring that all cocoa required for Tesco own label chocolate products sold in the UK will be from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ sources by the end of 2018. We will also ensure the cocoa used in other Tesco UK products, such as biscuits, cakes, desserts and cereals, will be responsibly sourced by the same date. Cocoa will be sourced in accordance with a number of sustainability programmes including the Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Cocoa Horizons and Fairtrade.
As part of our growing partnership with the Rainforest Alliance, we will work together to identify other potential products. Already 30% of our own brand tea is being sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms and we are working to increase this to 100% by 2020. Meanwhile, 100% of our fresh coconuts in the UK are Rainforest Alliance Certified™.
Our collaboration with Rainforest Alliance builds on the wider work we have done in partnership with suppliers to ensure customers can buy great quality, healthy and sustainable products at Tesco. Recent commitments include a Fair for Farmers Guarantee for fresh milk, high value contracts for British potato growers, a pledge to stop selling caged eggs by 2025 and our leading work to source sustainable wild fish, in partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council.