The Fairtrade Foundation was set up in 1992 by CAFOD, Christian Aid, WDM, Oxfam and Traidcraft. It is an independent non-profit organisation that licenses use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products in the UK.
Fairtrade products include tea, coffee, cotton, rice, wine, pineapples, flowers, nuts, ice-cream, chocolate, fruit juice, biscuits, dried fruit, cereals, honey but one of the most popular is bananas! The Windward Islands is a group of six islands in the
Caribbean, including Martinique and St. Lucia. Windward Islands bananas Banana trade to Europe from small producers in the Windward Islands used to be protected. Since 1993 new trade rules have gradually changed this. As a result, large-scale producers from Latin America and Africa flood the market with cheap bananas. They can do this because of low wages, poor employment standards, and intensive
production including high pesticide use. In the Windward Islands this means fewer bananas, smaller profits, and fewer jobs. Windward Islands bananas In St. Lucia, the number of banana farmers fell from 10,000 in the early 1990s to 1,800 in 2005. Fairtrade is helping the Windward Islands banana industry to survive. In 2005, 29% of bananas exported were Fairtrade.
In 2006 this figure was 72%. Sources: fairtrade.org.uk/producers/bananas/winfa/default.aspx fairtrade.org.uk/producers/bananas/winfa/conrad_james.aspx Why is Fairtrade better? 1. Fairtrade farmers receive a fair price for their bananas.
2. Fairtrade farmers are given money ( a premium) to spend in their community. 3. Fairtrade farmers care for the environment and make sure that all their workers are treated fairly.
Conrad James, St. Lucia Conrad James has been selling bananas into the Fairtrade market for over six years. Most weeks he harvests around one hundred 18kg-boxes of bananas. He has three sons who
help him on the farm when they are at home. Conrad feels that Fairtrade is helping to change peoples way of life and is encouraging them to stay in farming. Fairtrade farmers receive a premium
money for investment in social, environmental or economic development projects. Conrads farm is part of the Roseau Model Farm Fairtrade Group in the west of St.Lucia. During their monthly
Fairtrade meetings, farmers discuss production and how to use their Fairtrade premium. The Roseau Model Farm group have used some of their Fairtrade premium to build a new
fence around the local school. They also bought some fans for the local medical centre, which previously had nothing to keep patients cool in the tropical heat. Nationally, the premium
has provided: medical assistance sterilising equipment for hospitals computers for schools a new truck to deliver banana packaging materials, and fertilisers provided to Fairtrade groups at minimum
cost. Fairtrade must be something transparent not just bringing economic benefits but social benefits, and recognising the injustices of the world
trading system. Renwick Rose, Windward Islands Farmers Association Unfair trade causes poverty. If world trade rules were fair, the Fairtrade Mark would not be needed!
The European Union (EU) is pushing for free trade rules that will harm small producers in developing countries. YOU can help defend small producers. Visit the Trade Justice Movements website to learn more.
In the meantime, buy Fairtrade and use your own Fairtrade enterprise ideas to encourage others to do the same!
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