A petition launched by the Fairtrade Foundation asking supermarkets to pay a fair price to banana farmers has reached 70,000 signatures and has been handed to business secretary Vince Cable.
The petition was launched during this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight, which focused on bananas, Britain’s favourite fruit.
The foundation reveled that whilst the production cost of bananas has risen for farmers, their price on British supermarkets’ shelves has almost halved over the past decade.
This has put enormous pressure on farmers in the developing world, especially those outside of the fairtrade system, who struggle to make a living.
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More than 70,000 have signed a petition asking the government to investigate pricing policy in the retail sector. Currently, only a few retailers, such as the Co-operative, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, have agreed to sell only fairtrade bananas.
Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation, said, “During Fairtrade Fortnight we exposed the real impact British supermarket price wars are having on banana farmers and workers and their families.
“Today, 70,000 people have supported us in saying this must stop. The poorest people are bearing the cost of our cheap bananas and as a result, a product that is worth billions of pounds in global trade relies on poverty-level income for the people who grow it.
“Today we are asking Vince Cable to coordinate across UK Government departments to investigate retailer pricing and evaluate its impact on the long-term interests of banana producers and UK consumers”.
Photo: Andrew Skudder via flickr