NZ's first zero carbon Bananas

On 12 April this year, All Good launches New Zealand’s First Carbon Zero Bananas, at supermarkets nationwide. All of All Good’s Fairtrade bananas are now Ekos-certified zero carbon and the tape is now soft-plastic-recyclable.

All Good, who were the first to bring Fairtrade bananas to New Zealand, worked in partnership with T&G Fresh and alongside Ekos, Fairtrade and others to assess every step of the production journey, reducing emissions at source through key environmental projects and offsetting the remaining carbon through rainforest projects in Peru.

“It’s only a banana, but it’s a start” explains co-founder Simon Coley, listing the factors that have helped bring about “New Zealand’s Greenest Banana”. “They may look like other bananas but now All Good Bananas will be Zero Carbon certified as well as Fairtrade, protecting the planet and supporting our grower communities with equitable trade, 30 schools and a medical centre. This is definitely a first for New Zealand.”

Kiwis eat about 18 kgs of bananas each — 86 million bananas in total — every year. The carbon footprint of a single banana is only 120g1 but they’re the most popular of all Kiwi grocery items2. Offsetting that carbon to balance the footprint of every All Good banana to zero made sense from all angles. “Food production and consumption makes up a quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions3. Our impact as consumers has the potential to make a massive change.”

All Good has always taken care to understand the impact of its business on the people and places it trades with - in this case, New Zealand. “We wanted to give Kiwis a better choice and show the difference we can make by being mindful shoppers.”

While the COVID-19 Pandemic could have been a perfectly understandable reason to slow down the complex process of making the bananas carbon neutral, Coley says it motivated the team to press on further.

“COVID dominated 2020 of course, and it knocked the wind out of us. But not for long. Once we figured out our way through, it felt more important than ever to do this. We can’t let one emergency take our eyes off another potentially more disastrous one; the climate emergency. Ultimately, it’s the greatest challenge we face.”

Their programme of change has seen All Good working alongside T&G Fresh and the El Guabo Association of Small Banana Farmers, who’ve supported them to make it happen. Changes were made across growing and processing, and remaining carbon is being off-set through forest protection work being done in the Peruvian Andes, close to the farms in El Guabo, Ecuador where All Good Bananas are grown. The project being supported protects the Amazonian Rainforest from road and agricultural development, with significant benefits to the indigenous people. It is aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and certified to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). The bananas will be wrapped in a tape that can be soft-plastic recycled.

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