Have you ever thought about how your fruits are being produced and where they come from? Do you know how long it takes for a pineapple plant to grow? Do you know when it is actually tomato season in your country? Do you know who picks and packs your fruits? Today, it is 1 July, International Fruit Day: a great opportunity to celebrate our fruit workers. Because they deserve it!
As European consumers, most of us have little idea about the origins of the fruits we take for granted. We rarely stop to think about the perfectly shaped and coloured fruit we buy in our supermarkets. In addition to this, we are used to eating all sorts of fruits any time in the year. Our pineapples come from the Philippines or Thailand, our tomatoes from Morocco, our melons from Honduras, our mangoes from Peru and our bananas from Ecuador.
Real people, real hands, real lives
Our world is crammed full of plantations, greenhouses, orchards and vineyards to supply our ever-growing need for fruit in the Global North. Millions of food workers work in these global fruit supply chains. These are real people, with real hands and real lives. They sow, grow, water, harvest, pick and pack the fruits.
Meet the fruit workers
Although our fruits come from all over the world, there is a lot that these fruit workers have in common. They perform low-skilled labour and there is always somebody to replace them if they stand up to demand better working conditions. Many of them work long days and earn measly wages that are far below a living wage. Their wages are, in fact, so low that they are not able to meet the needs of their families and many of them even earn too little to provide enough nutritious food for their own families. Meet for example tomato workers Lahcen, Maryam and Zahra and pineapple worker Han from The Philippines.
Show fruit workers your appreciation
They deserve to be celebrated and to be thanked for their hard work! This International Fruit Day, we would like to take the opportunity to show them our appreciation. You can join by sharing this post and let your friends know you appreciate the people who put the fruit on your plates!
Together we will fight for a living wage in the whole food supply chain
In the meantime, we will keep on pressuring supermarkets to ensure living wages for all workers in their global food supply chains.
And that’s why we also currently have a petition in which we ask Lidl to commit to paying living wages. Join more than 115,000 people who have already signed the petition here!