Asda reported that volume sales of loose conventional bananas had risen 10% since it cut the price to 38p/kg last Friday. But despite the uplift, it insisted sales of Fairtrade remained constant and had not been damaged.
Waitrose, which only stocks Fairtrade bananas, said its sales had also been unaffected. "There has been no impact, sales growth is in line with the fruit and veg category," said a spokeswoman.
The figures were evidence of the loyalty of Fairtrade shoppers, said one industry source. "I personally think Fairtrade shoppers will be the last to switch. The Fairtrade purchaser is more resistant it is a committed purchase."
Senior Fairtrade figures warned the industry would be damaged if it became embroiled in a price war.