Panamanian banana farmer visits Warrington 

It was standing room only at the Sanctuary Café in Lymm on March 1st as people came together to hear Marcial Quintero, a banana farmer from Panama, talk about the impact Fairtrade has had on the lives of his family and community. He said "Since starting with Fairtrade it’s made a mega-revolution in our lives. The first thing that our members chose to focus on was the desperate living conditions. We all used to live, cook and sleep in small apartments, with all the family in the same room. We didn’t see any benefits, development or profit from growing bananas. But now I have my own home for my family and we manage our own cooperative.”

Steering Group member Jackie Hancock said, "Bananas are the most popular fruit in the UK but often we don’t think beyond picking up a bunch on the supermarket shelf, and consider the needs of the grower. Until recently farmers and workers in Panama had little control over their future and were tied into rock bottom wages. Across the globe, thanks to the benefits of Fairtrade, millions of hard-working producers like Marcial are escaping exploitation. They’re finally getting a fair deal, supported by Fairtrade, earning their way out of poverty and transforming their communities. We hope our activities during Fairtrade Fortnight will encourage many more  people in Warrington to choose  products with the Fairtrade Mark when they shop, thereby opening doors for more producers to break the stranglehold of poverty prices."

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