Paulski presents – “May I tell you about my Banana?”

People will have you believe the humble banana is a deeply sustainable and healthy fruit. 

Did you know that the banana industry consumes more agrochemicals than any other industry in the world? Many which are defined as deeply hazardous by the W.H.O.

The bananas we buy today are usually produced within a monoculture environment, monoculture production can destroy complete ecosystems. 


We usually only ever hear about the palm oil issues, but the truth is almost everything we consume these days has to be produced at such a scale that it is by default going to be environmentally damaging. 

Even the pretty simple and harmless Banana – which we all thought was healthy and harmless. 

Well sadly it’s one of the worst offenders. 

The banana is the Jeff Bezos of fruits.


Banana agrochemicals are the worst kind of water pollutants and soil contaminants and working in this industry is usually bad news for workers’ health.

There are no independent banana farmers in the world who are able to sell to your supermarket. If you care about what you buy, probably you opt for the Bio version, do you know why your bio fruit has a sticker? One of only five huge corporations have decided what qualifies your banana for a nice bio sticker. Do you trust them to get it right?

What if I give you 4% of my banana?

We can agree producers are bad guys, but it’s the supermarkets who really blacken the banana trade. They are so powerful they have driven the cost of the humble banana (and others of course) to the point where it’s almost unsustainable to produce them without bending the rules, ecosystem and workers rights.

Lets imagine your banana costs $1. The retailer will take about 40-50% cent while the farm worker will be lucky to earn 4% per fruit.

The sustainable / Bio fruit myth

So even if a producer wants to be sustainable… and decent, they have no choice any more; they have to find the cheapest way possible to produce this fruit. Otherwise super markets will price them out of the market. 

Or they can buy some lovely Bio stickers and sell the banana for a little bit more money. I can promise you farmer Joe won’t see any of that Bio profit in his pocket at the end of the month. 

Can Child Labour be sustainable?


A typical banana plantation worker can work up to 14 hours a day 6 days a week. And its probably not outlandish to imagine these producers would use child labour to cut costs even more.

As usual I don’t have a solution. Because like you I am a mere mortal who happens to want a banana every once in a while. 

Nothing goes down the Bananas ladder

And that’s the really shitty part, there is no way to fix this. Sure you can buy the more expensive Bananas in the hope that somebody somewhere will get a fairer wage. But trust me. The supermarket and their producer buddies will not pass the winnings onto the guy at the bottom of the ladder.

Anyway – just thought I would tell you about my big aul Banana, cause it makes me angry. Does it make you angry? I guess it depends who is selling you their narrative.

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