Ecuadorian National Manual on Occupational Health and Safety for the Banana Industry has been launched and granted mandatory status in all banana-producing plantations


After the successful launch of the National Manual on Occupational Health and Safety in the Banana Industry by the Ecuadorian Minister of Labour during the Third Conference of the WBF in Geneva, the Banana Occupational Health and Safety Initiative (BOHESI) coordination team has worked towards institutionalizing its contents in Ecuador, along with the regulations included in it.

BOHESI is a pilot project implemented in Ecuador and Cameroon which aims to contribute to a socially and environmentally sustainable banana production and trade by improving the standard of living for male and female workers and their surrounding communities through improved workplace health conditions. It counts on the unprecedented involvement of public and private sector actors, as well as civil society, at local and international levels.

On 21 May 2018, the Initiative saw the official launch of the Manual in Machala, Ecuador, which was chaired by: the Minister of Labour, Mr. Raul Ledesma; Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Rubén Flores; FAO Representative in Ecuador, Mr. John Preissing; and FAO Representative, Mr. Victor Prada, amongst others. The event resulted in the symbolic act of delivery of the Manual from the ministers to banana plantation workers. This was followed by a press conference for the media.

The launch of the Manual also resulted in the presentation of a new Ministerial Agreement (No. MDT-2018-0108), signed on 16 May 2018, which establishes the compulsory status of the Manual and the legislations included in it. The institutional impacts achieved by the Manual and the subsequent Ministerial Agreement have the potential to reach 162,236 hectares of banana plantations, which are distributed amongst 4,473 small to large producers. These impacts will potentially benefit up to 220,000 workers directly employed in the banana industry in Ecuador, and up to 2.5 million workers indirectly (ProEcuador, 2017).

Ultimately, the end of the event gave way to the official start of training activities for public and private sector representatives.

Currently, the BOHESI coordination team is providing support to the Ministry of Labour in developing an e-learning platform to provide online trainings for workers. Discussions are still in the preliminary phase.

For more information on the Banana Occupational Health and Safety Initiative, click here.

For further questions and inquiries, contact Victor Prada at [email protected].  



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El Diario: “FAO: el manual para el empleo bananero en Ecuador puede adaptarse en otros países”

El Comercio: “FAO: manual para empleo bananero en Ecuador puede adaptarse en otros países”

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IDH: “Improving working conditions on banana plantations across Ecuador”