Woking's biggest ever banana split puts spotlight on Fairtrade Fortnight
25 February 2014
Please note: these pages contain archived information. Whilst the details were correct when first published, they may since have 'aged' and some of the information could be out-of-date. For this reason, links in the content of archive news stories have been disabled.
Woking Fairtrade Action Network will be creating Woking's biggest ever banana split on Saturday 8 March at The Living Planet Centre, home of WWF-UK. The event, which is open to the public, comes at the end of Fairtrade Fortnight (24 February to 9th March) and aims to put the spotlight on the problems associated with the unsustainable pricing of bananas in the UK.
Schools, churches, uniformed groups and other voluntary groups, together with Mayor, Cllr Anne Roberts and MP Jonathan Lord, have been invited to the Living Planet Centre between 2pm and 4pm, bringing petitions and messages of support for Fairtrade.
WWF will be showcasing their educational resources and will be running activities about Fairtrade chocolate for primary school children - and of course there'll be a chance to see the building from the inside.
David Nussbaum, CEO of WWF UK, will make a short presentation.
The event will finish with an opportunity to dig into a 14m long banana split!
Yet again, many different parts of our community are coming together to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight, and put a spotlight on the need to make the world that bit fairer for farmers and producers in poorer parts of the world who grow and make many of the things we buy. One participant is Season's St. Johns Coffee Shop which will be creating banana splits throughout Fairtrade Fortnight.
Billie Anderson, one of the organisers, said: "It's time to persuade the major supermarkets that the stickered price on loose bananas should reflect the true cost of a banana, so we can be sure that those who grow them receive a decent price or wage. It's great that three of the major supermarkets in Woking, the Co-op, Sainsbury and Waitrose, only sell Fairtrade bananas but we'd like the other supermarkets to follow suit."
Bananas have been at the heart of Fairtrade since they appeared on our shelves 13 years ago. The Fairtrade movement has achieved a huge amount since then. Today one in three bananas sold in the UK are Fairtrade bananas, amounting to 1.2 billion bananas.
But there is a problem. Supermarkets want to sell bananas as cheaply as they can, sometimes below the real cost of producing it. While Fairtrade banana farmers always benefit from the Fairtrade Minimum Price and the Fairtrade Premium, many banana farmers cannot afford to put enough food on the table to feed their families or provide the basics such as education or healthcare. Fairtrade alone cannot end the price war taking place over bananas.
UK Competition Law forbids supermarkets from co-ordinating price rises. What is needed is government action to ensure supermarkets treat farmers and workers fairly and so Fairtrade campaigners and supporters will be gathering signatures through Fairtrade Fortnight asking the government to do this.
For more information about the campaign go to http://foncho.fairtrade.org.uk/about/about-the-campaign/