COLEAD at the world banana forum: advocating for a sustainable future in the banana industry


COLEAD at the world banana forum: advocating for a sustainable future in the banana industry


In an important step towards sustainable development in the banana industry, COLEAD participated in the Fourth Global Conference of the World Banana Forum. This world event, hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), took place on 12-13 March at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. It brought together stakeholders from around the world to focus on promoting sustainable practices in the banana sector.

The World Banana Forum is a beacon of collaboration, bringing together private sector entities, farmer organisations, agribusinesses, government institutions, trade unions, the retail sector, civil society organisations, research institutions and certification bodies. It aims to promote the adoption of best practices to ensure the sustainable production and trade of bananas.

COLEAD, led by Morag Webb as Head of Science & Policy, and a member of the Steering Committee since 2015, has been at the forefront of these efforts. The organisation’s active participation in the Forum underlines its commitment to addressing the critical challenges facing the banana industry, ranging from environmental impacts and climate change adaptation to sustainable production systems and equitable trade practices.

This year’s conference addressed a wide range of pressing issues such as the environmental impact of banana production, climate change mitigation strategies, sustainable farming systems, fair distribution of value along the supply chain, living wages, shared responsibility, due diligence, labour rights, decent work and gender equity. It also served as a platform to discuss the latest developments within the World Banana Forum and to elect new members to the Steering Committee.

Prior to the main event, COLEAD representatives also participated in key side events on 11 March, including a discussion on Fusarium Wilt TR4. This session highlighted the proactive measures being taken by the industry to prevent, prepare for and respond to the threat of TR4. Another notable session focused on gender equity in the banana industry, with Inês Bastos, Regional Programme Manager and Gender Focal Point, highlighting innovative initiatives to promote gender mainstreaming and equality.

The World Banana Forum and events like this play a crucial role in global efforts to ensure a sustainable future for the industry. As the world’s most exported fresh fruit, with an estimated economic value of US$10 billion per year, bananas are a vital link in the global supply chain. Addressing the environmental, economic and social challenges facing the industry is paramount and requires the active collaboration of all stakeholders.

Through its engagement with the World Banana Forum through the Fit For Market Plus programme, COLEAD is committed to contribute to positive change within the industry, towards a future where sustainability, equity and prosperity are within reach for all stakeholders.

This activity is supported by the Fit For Market Plus (FFM+) programme, implemented by COLEAD within the Framework of Development Cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union. This publication receives financial support from the European Union and the OACPS. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of COLEAD and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union or the OACPS.