Will you go bananas and help spread the Fairtrade message?

FOOD lovers are being encouraged to go bananas and campaign for a fairer deal for farmers and workers in the fruit industry.

The annual Fairtrade Fortnight launches on February 24 and this year the national event will be focused on the plight of banana producers.

The yellow, curved fruit is the most popular in the world – every year we chomp our way through five billion of them, spending more than £550 million on them in 2012.

The Fairtrade Foundation is calling for a focus on the world’s fourth most important food crop as it says that not everyone is enjoying the benefits of the banana boom.

It says that many banana farmers and workers aren’t earning enough to put food on their families’ tables, let alone provide education or healthcare for them.

To help make the issue accessible, it will be focusing on one such farmer, Foncho. The 43-year-old lives with his family in Colombia on a banana farm that has been inherited throughout generations. He spends almost 12 hours a day working on the trees and has directly benefitted from becoming a Fairtrade farmer.

The Fairtrade Fortnight campaign is hoping that you’ll help make Foncho famous by holding special events during the fortnight.

The Thames Valley has always been a strong supporter of Fairtrade.

Reading recently renewed its Fairtrade status, and more than 40 churches and 46 businesses are registered as Fairtrade Friendly.

Wokingham’s fairtrade campaign wound down in 2009, after meeting all its objectives, but there is strong support for Fairtrade in the town.

Henley is working on renewing its status.

Former Henley Mayor Jeni Wood told the Henley Standard in October: “I should like Henley to become a Fairtrade town where we ordinary people can make a difference to the much harder lives of food producers thousands of miles away.”

Many churches are also Fairtrade accredited, including Christ Church in Henley and All Saints Wokingham.

Reading’s Fairtrade Steering Group will once again be organising a series of special events during Fairtrade Fortnight.

Last modified on Friday, 21 February 2014 12:12