The Fairtrade Foundation decided that this year Fairtrade fortnight would focus on Fairtrade bananas and Bananaman (James!) and the group gave out Fairtrade bananas in the Market Square to publicise this. People love bananas – in fact they're our favourite fruit. In the UK alone we eat more than five billion a year. In the last ten years, the UK supermarket sector has almost halved the shelf price of loose bananas while the cost of producing them has doubled, trapping many of the farmers and workers who grow them in a cycle of poverty.
Fairtrade provides a vital safety net for banana farmers and workers, by paying a minimum price that aims to cover the costs of sustainable production and an additional premium for community projects. This empowers producers to take control of their lives and provide their families with the basics such as education and healthcare.
Who are these banana farmers?
Foncho is a banana farmer from Cienaga in Colombia. Before Foncho's co-operative Coobafrio was certified as Fairtrade, Foncho often struggled to make ends meet – it was a hard life. But since becoming Fairtrade, Foncho receives a fair price for his bananas, which means he can afford to care for his loved ones and send his daughter to college.
What Fairtrade means…
Fairtrade is about connecting the supplier & the consumer, just as we respect, value & expect to give a fair price to the plumber who comes to fix our water supply, so we need to be fair to the sugar producer who sweetens our (Fairtrade!) coffee. Buying Fairtrade ensures producers in other parts of the world receive a fair price for their goods, the security of long-term contracts as well as guaranteed minimum health and working conditions. An additional premium is also paid that farmers can use to invest in community projects or to improve their businesses. This empowers producers to take control of their lives and provide their families with the basics such as education and healthcare.
The first Fairtrade label was launched in 1988 in the Netherlands and applied only to coffee. It was a specific response to the collapse of the world coffee price, which fell for some years to far less than the cost of production, and led to much suffering for coffee farmers and their families. Fairtrade still covers coffee of course, but also applies to many other food stuffs from bananas to chocolate & also cotton tee shirts, footballs & many other goods!
Faversham - a Fairtrade Town
Faversham was the third town in Kent to attain Fairtrade status on Saturday 11 March 2006. It is a town with a conscience and an awareness of the challenges surrounding Fairtrade.
Our on going goals to ensure our Fairtrade status is kept include Faversham Town Council’s support; a range of Fairtrade products being readily available in the Town’s shops & served in the town’s café’s, pubs & restaurants; Fairtrade products continue to be used by a number of local workplaces & community organisations such as churches, schools, the library and Faversham society.Both Faversham secondary schools, the Abbey School have now achieved Fairtrade school status & the Queen Elizabeth School was reaccredited in February 2013 for 2 years. This has required considerable work & devotion to Fairtrade, so on behalf of the Fairtrade Group we congratulate them!
What you can do?
If you sell Fairtrade products, let us put you on Faversham.org in the Fairtrade section
Consult the National Fairtrade Purchasing Guide for good products & prices via
fairtrade.org.uk - For Business - How to stock Fairtrade
Buy Fairtrade products from Faversham stores eg. Co-op, Sainsbury's, Oxfam, De L'Artie, Jittermugs, Macknade Fine Foods.
Use Fairtrade tea, coffee, sugar, bananas etc while at work for you & your staff
Let us give you a Faversham Fairtrade sticker to put in your window!
Contact Janice (Chair of the Fairtrade group) firstname.lastname@example.org on 07979900425 or James (Secretary) on 07961 353841 & we’ll be very pleased to talk about how you can support Fairtrade in Faversham