Sunday, November 04, 2007

Go Bananas for Fair Trade: getting them in your grocery store!

Like other fair trade products I've written about before, certified fair trade bananas guarantee that the people involved in growing them-- small banana farmers and workers on banana plantations-- get decent pay and humane, respectful working conditions. And while many fair trade bananas are also certified organic, even those which aren't still must use less pesticides and more sustainable farming practices, which is good for the workers, the environment, and you. (You can check out the details of fair trade standards for bananas and other products here.)

Bananas are actually a really great product to go fair trade on. Because they're already so cheap, paying another dime or two per pound for the fair trade version doesn't break the bank-- but that makes a big difference to the farmers and farm workers, who get around 18 cents a pound instead of as little as 2 cents, partially thanks to the higher prices, and partially due to cutting out middlemen who take cuts of the profit. (The 18 cents figure is from Ecuador; prices vary by country, but Ecuador grows 33% of the world's bananas.)

But fair trade bananas are relatively new to the U.S. market, and many supermarkets don't sell them. (Europe has had them for much longer, and they've become very popular; in Switzerland, almost half the bananas sold are fair trade!)

If you want to look for U.S. stores that do sell fair trade bananas, try this search (it brings up around 100 stores that sell fair trade fruit-- including pineapple, mangoes and grapes-- but I'd be surprised if many of them have the other fruit but not bananas.)

But if you want to get fair trade bananas in more stores, get involved in Co-op America's campaign. You can sign on to a letter to major grocery store chains, which Co-op America will deliver to demonstrate consumer interest, and hopefully have an impact on those chains (many of which are already stocking other fair trade products). You can also print out the letter (or write your own) and bring it to your local stores.

Have you seen fair trade bananas in stores near you yet? I haven't, but hopefully this will help change that!


Anonymous said...

Have you had enough of petitions, rallies, and protests that have not worked? The Republiklan party and their klanservative members appears insulated from the public and unresponsive to the public. However their contributors do not appear insulated from the public and can collapse under pressure to a withering telephone campaign threatening mass boycotts of their products until they get their friends at the GOP to do what we want.

Would you and your organization consider joining these telephone campaigns and spreading the word to your membership, and fellow progressive groups? I have created these campaigns to peacefully take back America. After you have made these phone calls please send me email to with the subject CALLED.

Thank you.

Call GOP contributor and war contractor General Electric Corporation at 203 373 2211 and ask for the public relations department. Tell the person in public relations that you want the GE CEO to get Bush to end the war in Iraq and then Bush resign with Cheney and until that happens you will not buy any GE products and that you will tell your friends about this.

Call GOP contributor Rite Aid at 1-800-325-3737 and tell the person to get the CEO to get the GOP to enact HR 676 Single payer universal health care and repeal Medicare Part D and place the drug benefit in Medicare Part B covering 80% of drugs with no extra premiums, no extra deductibles, no means tests, no coverage gaps, and remove the means test for Medicare Part B and until that happens, you won't buy ANYTHING from Rite Aid.

Call GOP contributor Wendy's restaurants at 614 764-3553 and Tell the person in public relations that you want their CEO to get the GOP to help enact a $10/HR MIN. WAGE into law and until this happens you will not go to a Wendy's Restaurant.

I set up a progressives forum for progressives and liberals
only. Get as many progressives and liberals to join as you

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What I Didn't Say... said...

I have to say, I was not aware of the fair trade movement. I read an article on edition) about a store called Greenheart opening in Chicago that features fair trade products.
I'm so in favor of this! Thank you for your blogs with all the extra info!