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IDH and Banana Link join forces to support banana plantations with Occupational Health and Safety risk assessments

IDH and the non-profit cooperative Banana Link, in collaboration with two banana plantation companies, trade union platforms, and staff delegates, have initiated a two-year project to improve occupational health and safety risk assessments and control measures in the banana industry in Cameroon and Ivory Coast.

The project aims to create a safer working environment for all employees involved in the industry and builds knowledge that is essential to SIFAV ambition of creating positive impact on salient issues in working conditions.

Bananas are a staple food worldwide, with more than 85% of production being consumed locally and providing essential nutrition and food security to over 400 million people. 

However, due to the export-focused nature of banana production, there are several challenges related to the health risks faced by workers and the environment. It is the responsibility of banana plantation companies to ensure a healthy and secure working environment for both male and female employees, thereby upholding their basic right to a safe workplace.

Rethinking OHS risk assessment and control

IDH and Banana Link have joined forces for a two-year international project aimed at supporting banana plantations in Cameroon and Ivory Coast with Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) risk assessments and control. The project, which is co-funded by IDH, aims to develop and test a new approach for health and safety risk assessment and control. The innovative methodology promotes regular workplace risk assessments conducted by companies, leaving behind the generic, desk-based risk assessments. The workforce and trade unions will actively participate in this process, which will also include gender-specific risk assessments.

Taking a gender-sensitive approach

The project takes a gender-sensitive approach, focussing on recruiting female workers into leadership positions as part of the Core Trainers team and aiming for a representation of 25%. Additionally, the project activities are aimed at gathering accurate information on gender specific OHS risks, compelling employers to act. This creates a safer and more attractive work environment for women, which helps in attracting and retaining female employees. The project aims to make a sustainable impact in promoting occupational health and safety in the banana industry by providing continuous support to trainers to share their capacity-building expertise with local colleagues.

The project group

The project benefits from a diverse group of five forward-thinking organisations: Compagnie Fruitiere Plantations (Plantations du Haut Penja SA in Cameroon & Societe d’etude et de développement de la Culture Bananière in Cote d’Ivoire) will coordinate worker organisation, utilize company resources, and support lead trainers. Two trade union organisations (Plateforme Syndicale de la PHP in Cameroon & Plateforme Syndicale de la SCB in Cote d’Ivoire) focus on mobilising workers, liaising with staff delegates and the companies, supporting the lead trainer, and gathering project-relevant information. And finally, Banana Link oversees the overall project management and core training.

 

Get in touch!

Though currently focused on Ivory Coast and Cameroon, the vision of this project is to be able to roll out its deliverables across other countries as well. Interested to learn more about the project or how to join? Contact us to learn more about how you can join our mission.

If you are interested, please reach out to Sacnicte Bonilla Hernandez, Project Officer at Banana Link via sacnicte@bananalink.org.uk, or to Coen Frederiks, Program Manager at IDH, via frederiks@idhtrade.org.