MORE than 250 islanders have signed a petition urging businesses to make bananas fair.
Fairtrade Guernsey volunteers collected the signatures outside Waitrose on Saturday, where they spent the day dressed in banana suits.
The petition, coordinated by the Fairtrade Foundation, asks Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, to investigate the impact of unsustainable supermarket pricing.
Campaigners want governments to act to protect millions of poor farmers and workers who grow the UK and Guernsey’s favourite fruit.
Fairtrade Guernsey will also present the signatures collected in Guernsey to the States to show the level of support locally.
‘In the last 10 years a bitter price war has seen the UK supermarket sector almost halve the price of loose bananas while the cost of producing them has doubled. This is trapping many of the farmers and workers who grow them in poverty,’ said Nicky Terry, chair of Fairtrade Guernsey.
‘Here in Guernsey we are, to a degree, immune to banana wars, with our supermarkets – notably The Channel Islands Co-operative Society, Waitrose and M&S – stocking only Fairtrade bananas. This means that regardless of the price that you pay for the banana in the supermarket, the price paid to the farmer will cover the costs of his sustainable production. We can be proud of the socially responsible stance our supermarkets have taken in this regard and we should champion them as such by continuing to support them.’
Miss Terry added that we should, however, be mindful of the fact that of the five billion bananas sold in the UK every year, only one in three sold is a Fairtrade banana.
‘Remember, Fairtrade is all about unlocking the power of many – you as an individual consumer have the power to make a change, embrace this power and harness it to abolish unfair trading practices which leave small scale farmers in a permanent cycle of debt and poverty,’ she said.
For more information on Fairtrade Guernsey go to www.fairtradeguernsey.com
More details on the Fairtrade Foundations campaign to make bananas fair can be found at www.stickwithfoncho.org.uk.