Global Market Report: Bananas

This report examines how voluntary sustainability standards are used to promote sustainable development in the banana sector.

Key Messages

  • North America and Europe are driving demand for sustainably produced bananas, which have captured a 10% share of some markets.
  • From 2008 to 2016, voluntary sustainability standard-compliant bananas grew to account for at least 7% of the sector (36% of exports).
  • Asia is the largest producing region, but 80% of exported bananas come from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Bananas (including plantains) are the world’s fourth most important staple crop (after wheat, maize, and rice). The sector faces a variety of sustainability issues, including crop disease, climate change impacts, excessive pesticide use, and poor labour practices. Banana producers are increasingly using voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) to tackle the sector’s sustainability challenges.

This report is the sixth in IISD’s Sustainable Commodities Marketplace Series, which presents market information and analysis on agricultural commodities to foster transparency, knowledge, and strategic decision making for sustainable development.

Report details

Standards and Value Chains
State of Sustainability Initiatives
Focus area
IISD, 2020