Saint Lucia has been exporting bananas to the UK for decades in cardboard boxes. That market was the largest for many years and contributed to the tremendous success of the banana industry.
Geest Industries and their weekly Geest boat arrivals in the Castries harbour were a very common sight.
As banana protections fell in the UK and Europe, competition from Chiquita and Dole, and the ravages of Black Sigatoka, banana viability was greatly affected causing exports to dwindle significantly.
Because of the significant importance of bananas to the economies of their producing countries and the need for fair trade practices as well as proper working conditions for persons in those industries Fair Trade standards were developed.
According to Global Exchange, Fair Trade products are food or crafts that are produced under standards designed to end and prevent the poverty, sweatshop labor conditions, environmental degradation, etc that are endemic to the free trade “race to the bottom” that puts profits above people and the planet.
In a bold step to highlight Saint Lucia bananas in the UK a new packaging campaign is now underway at Waitrose supermarkets which has over 350 locations in Great Britain. Our bananas have also been seen at Sainsbury’s supermarkets.