Fairtrade Fortnight - "Going Bananas For Fairtrade in 2014"

Fairtrade Fortnight 2014 in Warrington was a very energetic time as customers in Golden Square were invited to “Go Bananas for Fairtrade” by taking a ride on a smoothie bike, thereby creating their own Fairtrade banana smoothie to enjoy.

This year’s campaign highlighted the fact that supermarket price wars have created a situation where, despite most food prices rising dramatically, the average price of a banana has halved in the past ten years. The people suffering in this situation are smallholder banana farmers who can no longer  provide for their families or sustain their businesses when they are paid so little for their produce.

The Warrington Fairtrade Steering group chatted to shoppers about these shocking statistics during their all day event and over 400 members of the public signed a petition to the government calling on them to get involved and bring an end to banana price wars between the supermarkets. Special visitors to event ,  who all signed the petition, were a number of Warrington Wolves players, Wolfie and the Mayor (see photos below to check out who got on the smoothie bike!) In total, around fifty people rode the bike and passers by also enjoyed homebaked banana cakes and biscuits and other Fairtrade tastings. Public donations to the Fairtrade Foundation came to fifty pounds.

In the UK one third of all bananas now carry the FAIRTRADE Mark, which guarantees the growers have had a fair price, however there is still a very long way to go before all UK bananas are sold on Fairtrade terms. There are three supermarkets which only sell Fairtrade bananas; Waitrose, The Co-op and Sainsbury’s (who’s Warrington branch generously donated 600 Fairtrade bananas to the event.)

Warrington Market also hosted a Fairtrade event during the Fortnight, organised by Fair 4 All, the town’s Fair Trade market stall. Shoppers could enjoy banana pieces dipped in a chocolate fountain and other delicious Fairtrade treats, win a prize on the Fairtrade Trail and help create banana bunting as well as signing the petition.

In addition the stall ran a photo competition for eating a banana in an unusual location. Not surprisingly the outright winning snap was of a couple on their wedding day at Chester Zoo, munching on their bananas!

There was also a great deal of awareness raising going on amongst young people in our town during Fairtrade Fortnight as the Steering group organised Fairtrade assemblies, lessons and tuck shops (provided by Fair 4 All) in many schools.

Local churches also got involved, by running fair trade stalls and collecting petition signatures, so that overall around one thousand people in Warrington registered their desire for a fair deal for banana growers around the world.

To find out more about how Fairtrade benefits overseas producers in developing countries, and fun ways of supporting the campaign to make food fair, Visit http://step.fairtrade.org.uk/why-go-further