On Wednesday 20 June, a group of activists from all over Europe came to Brussels to protests against human rights abuses in the pineapple and banana production trades globally, as part of the ‘Make Fruit Fair’ campaign: http://www.makefruitfair.org.uk/.
I was lucky enough to be invited to participate, and it was a great opportunity to show solidarity with people who fight for their rights every day. Iris Munguia, a trade unionist from Hunduras, had come over to let European decision-makers know that labour conditions in the fruit supply chain must improve for people producing the fruit and ask for regulation of supermarket buyer power.
We protested in Brussels’ Schuman square, right by the main European Commission building and the European Council. Two French activists dressed up like a pineapple and a banana. We then put a supermarket trolley on top of them to show how European supermarkets are complicit in keeping the fruit trade unfair.
The action didn’t get the media attention it deserved. I think it is a pity that European media spends so much energy on writing about the economic troubles Europe has while giving so little attention to the ongoing crises that our actions here in Europe cause around the world, including to banana and pineapple workers.
The protest was fun though, and the campaign to make fruit fair continues, in Europe and all over the world. As activists we will continue to protest, to discuss with decision-makers and to make consumers aware of what the problems with the banana and pineapple trades are, and continue to propose solutions to make fruit fair!