Share via Email A boy carries his ladder through a banana plantation where he works. Ten years ago there was also a chance that the banana you bought in the same supermarket would have been picked from the tree by a child. The report and the resulting wave of media coverage had an almost immediate impact in Ecuador, leading the Ministry of Labour to declare the elimination of child labour a "political priority" and putting enormous pressure on the international banana producers to clean up their employment practices.
Depending on the scope of the operation, a plantation's size may vary from a small family farm operation to a corporate facility encompassing large tracts of land, multiple physical plants, and many employees. Production-related activities on a plantation may include cultivating and harvesting the fruit, transporting the picked bunches to a packing shed, hanging to ripen in large bunches, dividing large bunches into smaller market-friendly bunches, sorting, labeling, washing, drying, packing, boxing, storing, refrigeration, shipping, and marketing.
Depending on the scope of the operation, other activities may include drying, food preparation, tourism, and market research. The key element in soil type for successful banana plant growth is good drainage.
Alluvial soils of river valleys are ideal for banana growing. Bananas prefer an acid soil. Cultivation techniques specific to the type of banana produced may dictate the specific physical plant makeup. Much of banana cultivation since the mids has centered around a single monoculture: The ravages of Panama Disease in that particular cultivar may cause a shift in variety selection, subsequently causing a major change in the physical plant structure of banana plantations.
Banana plantations generally follow one of four major agricultural techniques: Intensive farming sustainable farming organic farming and fair trade farming.
An intensive agricultural technique which requires clearing most if not all native vegetation from tracts of land, then densely planting and fertilizing the crop may produce the highest yield of fruit per acre, but it is viewed by environmental scientists as a technique which involves a history of high risk for damage to the local environment,   and health risk to the agricultural workers.
Producing goods without depleting an ecosystem's natural resources is a key goal of sustainable banana farming. Because of the lower per-acre crop yield and higher wage cost intrinsic to this type of farming, profitability is addressed by the introduction of a price premium charged for the product at market.
Such premiums are readily paid by a segment of the consumer market which places a value on the benefits of sustainable farming. The United Nations has published a description of fair trade banana production which states, "for banana producers this means they obtain a price which covers the cost of production and an additional price premium to be invested in social, environmental or quality improvements.
Banana industry advocates maintain that exposure levels were too low to produce health issues, but juries in the United States found Dole Food Company guilty of specific cases of worker sterility related to pesticide exposure in the late s. One successful lawsuit presented evidence that Dole continued to use the pesticide DBCP on banana plantations in Nicaragua after the agent was found by the manufacturer to cause health problems and was banned in California in Financial liability in the case was later stricken because of international jurisdiction issues, however the finding of culpability by the jury was left intact.(18) Although the introduction of the Unified System of Registration of Child Labor (SURTI) has improved the referral mechanisms for victims removed from the worst forms of .
In large part as a result of campaigns and news stories about sweatshops in the clothing industry, child labor in the coffee and banana sectors, and slave labor on cocoa plantations, companies have become increasingly concerned about their “brand image.”.
child labor was a major problem in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and around the time of the Industrial Revolution Children as young as six years old worked up to 19 hours a day with a one hour total break.
Free Essay: Bananas The banana plant, or Musa acuminata, is one of the most important fruiting plants on Earth.
Del Monte, Dole, and Fyffes have somewhat of a monopoly over the banana plantation business, and their plantations are centralized in Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras. child labor and long work days were.
In this essay, I examine the banana industry in Ecuador. The reason for the narrow focus on this particular country is because Ecuador not only supplies one quarter of all bananas that core countries such as the U.S., Canada and Europe consumes, but it is also the largest banana exporter in the world (Human Rights Watch ).
Child labor on banana plantations has also historically been a heated labor issue Labor unions, UNICEF, and others have resisted the use of child labor as young as 8 on banana plantations, and have won concessions in some countries such as Ecuador, which instituted a minimum worker age of 15 years.