Happy 10th birthday Fairtrade

A banana farm worker wraps bananas during a packing process in Babahoyo, Ecuador.
GUILLERMO GRANJA

A banana farm worker wraps bananas during a packing process in Babahoyo, Ecuador.

Ethical label, Fairtrade, has a target to double the percentage of Fairtrade bananas sold as the organisation celebrates its 10th anniversary in New Zealand this year.

Kiwis are the biggest banana eaters in the world says Fairtrade - munching through the equivalent of 18kg of the fruit per person each year.

Molly Harriss Olson is chief executive of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand and hopes.
Lucia Rossi

Molly Harriss Olson is chief executive of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand and hopes.

Retail sales of Fairtrade certified bananas rose by 28 per cent in the last year, but the organisation said it wants to see a full conversion to Fairtrade bananas in New Zealand supermarkets.

Only 6 per cent of the bananas sold have Fairtrade status, which means they have been sourced from farms which treat their growers well and where they are paid a fair price for their labour.

Business development manager Pravin Sawny said: "We have a goal of getting over ten per cent of the banana market in the next year and twenty per cent in five years time. Bananas are our biggest growth category."

Last year, around $89.3 million of Fairtrade products were sold in New Zealand, including fruit and other products such as cofee and chocolate..

Fairtrade said more than 45 Kiwi brands were working with the label, ranging from big, established companies such as Whittaker's and BP's Wild Bean Café through to boutique brands including All Good, Nice Blocks and the local fashion label Kowtow.

Fairtrade's Australia and New Zealand chief executive, Molly Harriss-Olson, said that over the past 10 years, Fairtrade had helped to transform development for farmers and workers in the Pacfic region. She said each brand committed to the label's ethos, had helped to improve the livelihoods of Fairtrade farmers globally.

She said: "Not only have we supported farmers to get a fair price for their commodities and empowered workers, but we have also been able to inject funding into projects directly benefiting the communities we work with." 

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Fairtrade provides farmers and workers in developing countries with a fair price (the Fairtrade Minimum Price) for their produce which at a minimum covers the cost of sustainable production and helps protect them from damaging fluctuations in world market prices.

They also receive an extra sum of money, called the Fairtrade Premium, for investment in social, economic and environmental development in their community, such as educational and medical facilities.

Projects have built classrooms, brought clean water to homes, provided access to healthcare and repaired roads in nations such as Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Tonga.

 - Sunday Star Times

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