Lima/Cologne, 7 November 2018. At the GLOBALG.A.P. SUMMIT in Lima, Peru, GLOBALG.A.P. and the World Banana Forum (WBF) presented a global action plan to save bananas from the threat of Tropical Race 4 (TR4). The REWE Group was the first grocery retailer to sign up and has committed to take measures against the highly destructive pathogen.

The banana is one of the most popular types of fruit in Germany, with a per capita consumption of 12 kilograms per year. The Tropical Race 4 variant of the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (TR4) is currently considered to be the greatest threat to producers and workers in the global banana industry. Already present in the Asia Pacific region, the pathogen is continuing to spread westward and has already reached certain regions in Africa.

TR4 is a growing concern for the export industry and producers as it colonizes, infects, and destroys Cavendish banana plants and many other varieties. Once present, the pathogen cannot be controlled by chemical or agricultural management practices, and it remains active in the soil for decades. Alternative options – TR4 tolerant varieties – are still at the evaluation stage. The social consequences of Fusarium wilt can be severe: bananas are an important source of food, income, employment, and government revenue in 135 tropical and subtropical countries.

Measures required to prevent TR4 from destroying banana plantations around the globe cannot be achieved by one individual actor. A concerted international effort of the relevant stakeholders and institutions is required to cope with the spread of Fusarium wilt TR4. The “TR4 Call to Action” was developed by GLOBALG.A.P. and the World Banana Forum as a global initiative to raise awareness and to focus attention on six key areas in which stakeholders can act to prevent TR4 from destroying banana plantations around the globe. By signing the “TR4 Call to Action”, stakeholders can make their commitment public.

“I appreciate the leadership of REWE to spearhead the global Call to Action to save the banana,” said Dr Kristian Moeller, CEO of GLOBALG.A.P. “This private-public initiative needs many more of such leaders to have a real impact.”

“The new strain of the Fusarium oxysporum (TR4) fungus represents a global threat for the banana supply chain. The REWE Group is supporting the implementation of the GLOBALG.A.P. TR4 Bio-Security Add-on and is requesting the company’s suppliers and the global retail sector to promote strong and effective action against the spread of the pathogen. As an active member both of the World Banana Forum Steering Committee and of GLOBALG.A.P. we are making our contribution to securing the future of banana production and the livelihoods of the many people who produce them,” said Eugenio Guidoccio, Senior Manager Ultrafresh Produce, REWE Group.

Photo of signatories of the “TR4 Call to Action”  at the GLOBALG.A.P. SUMMIT 2018 (left to right):

Roberto Vega, Syngenta
Germán Avanzini, Trichodex
Kahori Miyake, Aeon
Yuqi Wu  (translator)
Jinhong Wu, China Ants Alliance
Guy Callebaut, VBT, Chairman GLOBALG.A.P.
Kristian Moeller, CEO GLOBALG.A.P.
Luud Clercx, World Banana Forum, Chair Task Force
Gustavo Mostajo, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation
Johannes Holtzhausen, Spinneys Dubai
Sabbir Hasan Nasir, ACI Logistics/Shwapno
Pedro Molina, SENASA
Oscar Manuel Raymundo García, Mesa Técnica del Banano Orgánico del Alto Piura
Felipe Vargas, Varcli Pinares S.A.

"Call to Action" documents (English / Spanish

More information on the „TR4 Call to Action”: www.globalgap.org/tr4 

About the World Banana Forum

The World Banana Forum (WBF) brings together retailers, importers, producers, exporters, consumer associations, governments, research institutions, trade unions, and civil society organizations.

The World Banana Forum (WBF) is a space where the main stakeholders of the global banana supply chain work together to achieve consensus on best practices for sustainable production and trade. Collaboration is the key for progress.

www.fao.org/wbf

About the REWE Group:

The cooperative REWE Group is one of the leading trade and tourism groups in Germany and Europe. In 2017, the company achieved total external sales of around 58 billion euros. The REWE Group, founded in 1927, has over 345,000 employees and 15,300 stores in 22 European countries.

The sales divisions include supermarkets and hypermarkets of the REWE, REWE CENTER, REWE CITY, and BILLA brands, as well as MERKUR, the PENNY discounter, and toom’s home improvement stores. In addition, there are convenience stores (REWE To Go) and the e-commerce activities REWE Lieferservice as well as Zooroyal, wine lovers and Cologne wine cellar. TOURISM includes the tour operators ITS, Jahn Reisen, Dertour, Meier’s World Travel, ADAC Travel, Kuoni, Helvetic Tours, Apollo, and Exim Tours, more than 2,400 travel agencies (e.g. DER Reisebüro, DERPART, and cooperation partners), the hotel brands lti, Club Calimera, Cooee, PrimaSol, and Playitas Resort, and the direct operator clevertours.com.

www.rewe-group.com

About GLOBALG.A.P.

GLOBALG.A.P. is a leading global certification program whose mission is to bring farmers and retailers together to produce and market safe food to protect scarce resources and build a sustainable future.

www.globalgap.org

Contact:

GLOBALG.A.P. c/o FoodPLUS GmbH
Claudia Meifert
Public Relations
T: +49 (0) 221-57776-997
Email: meifert@globalgap.org

 

Photo: GLOBALG.A.P.