Published on February 24th, 2014 | by admin
Time To Go Banana’s Over Fairtrade Fortnight
Today marks the start of ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ (24 February – 9 March). The campaign is focusing on Fairtrade of the banana business highlighting that many banana farmers and workers have seen their earnings cut in real terms which is putting their livelihoods in jeopardy.
But what exactly is Fairtrade? The distinctive Fairtrade Foundation circular logo we will be familiar with stands for better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
Addressing the injustices of conventional trade which traditionally discriminate against the poorest, weakest producers, it requires companies to pay sustainable prices which must never fall below the market price.
As the UK member of Fairtrade International (FLO), the Fairtrade Foundation works with businesses, civil society organisations and individuals to improve the position of farmers and workers in the developing world.
A Fairtrade registered licensee is a company that has signed a License Agreement with the Fairtrade Foundation meaning they are entitled to apply the Fairtrade Mark to specific products covered by the agreement.
So back to bananas and apparently they are the UK’s favourite fruit and Fairtrade bananas account for a third of the UK market, that’s a staggering £200 million. Fairtrade bananas first appeared on our supermarket shelves 13 years ago and now 1.2 billion bananas by volume are sold with the Fairtrade brand in the UK each year.
The UK supermarket sector has almost halved the shelf price of loose bananas in the last 10 years even though the cost of producing bananas has doubled in that time! Supermarkets have used their buying clout to keep the price they for them as low as possible leaving many of the farmers and workers who grow them out of pocket.