Did you know that one in three bananas sold in British shops is Fairtrade? Since the first Fairtrade bananas appeared on our shelves 13 years ago we've achieved a huge amount.
But there's still a long way to go! That's why, this Fairtrade Fortnight, we launched a special campaign to celebrate bananas and focus on other changes that are needed so that millions more banana growers can get a fairer deal for their hard work.
Meet Foncho, a football-mad banana farmer from Colombia! He’s proud to grow bananas that we eat. He gets up at 4am every day to look after his banana plants. He says: ‘My banana plants are part of me. I care for them - because they take care of me!’ Most of Foncho’s bananas are Fairtrade. This means he gets the Fairtrade price for them. With the extra money, he’s saved up for a motorbike and early each morning he rides to his farm, 20 minutes away. This means his family can live in town and Sebastian, his son, can go to high school.
Foncho’s lucky compared to some. Many banana growers earn so little they can’t always afford to put enough food on the table or send their children to school. They can get hurt using dangerous chemicals and may work in difficult conditions. Fairtrade means Foncho has the things he needs to keep everyone on his farm safe.
There are three different actions your school can take to help us get there.
1) Tell everyone about Fairtrade and bananas through learning, assemblies and activities. There are lots of activity ideas here.
2) Challenge your school canteen or a local shop to stock Fairtrade bananas
3) If you feel it's right for your school, students could even get involved in our campaign to tackle a problem that's much bigger than Fairtrade. The fact is, bananas are now sold so cheaply by most supermarkets that many farmers and workers who produce them are being trapped in a cycle of poverty. You can join us in asking Vince Cable to investigate unfair supermarket pricing practices and to act to protect the producers of the UK's favourite fruit by signing our petition at stickwithfoncho.org.uk
And don't forget, whatever your school did during Fairtrade Fortnight it's not too late to enter the Margaret Demidecka Fairtrade Award and win £350 towards your schools' Fairtrade activities. Find out how to enter here.