The importance of Fairtrade
Intrepid shoppers and coffee drinkers in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, braving the cold and snow, were intrigued to see a giant banana walking up the road last Saturday (3 March)
The Revd Kevin Price, minister of Wellspring Church, donned the banana costume to highlight and celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight (26 February - 11 March).
Kevin and other people from the church took to the streets to give away bananas and a leaflet explaining the importance of Fairtrade for the fruit growers and producers.
Launching the event at Wellspring, Kevin said that while one in every three bananas now bought in the UK is a Fairtrade banana, thousands of workers in some of the world’s poorest countries are still at the mercy of Britain’s supermarket price wars.
Over the last ten years, the retail price of bananas has fallen by 40 per cent, while the cost of production in some regions has doubled.
'This means that many banana workers can’t afford the things we take for granted,' said Kevin. 'Decent homes and well-equipped schools for their children are simply beyond their means.'
The bananas were supplied by the local branch of the Central England Co-op, whose assistant manager Josh Dennis said, 'We’re very proud to have been the first supermarket in the UK to sell Fairtrade bananas. There are now 22,000 farmers benefitting from the Fairtrade system, with a minimum price guarantee and a Fairtrade premium on top.'
Wirksworth has been officially designated a Fair Trade Town, and this event by Wellspring was a reminder that we are urged by The Fairtrade Foundation to buy our Fairtrade bananas from the Co-op, Waitrose and Sainsburys, and to demonstrate the power of the market by asking for Fairtrade goods wherever we shop.