Banana Link has expressed hope that Lidl will take a less price-focused stance in its banana sourcing, following reports that the ­discounter has switched to direct sourcing of the fruit.

Earlier this month, German newspaper Lebensmittel Zeitung claimed Lidl had followed Aldi in moving to direct sourcing of bananas, instead of using wholesalers.

Banana Link said any such move could have a significant impact on the banana industry, and questioned whether it meant Lidl or Aldi would take a more proactive approach to the ethics of their supply chains. "Their approach so far has been entirely focused on price," the body said in a statement.

Lidl declined to comment on the reports. "Lidl always seeks to optimise our delivery structures," said a spokeswoman. "However, we will not ­comment on this particular matter at present."