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Bananas highlight importance of Fairtrade

Here at DR Wakefield, we believe firmly in not only sourcing the right coffee at the right price, but also ensuring that those at the beginning of the supply chain receive a fair price for the hard work they do. It is only in doing this that we can go about our business safe in the knowledge we are doing all we can to safeguard both coffee growers' own livelihoods and that of those who rely on them.

Similarly, we place an equal amount of importance on ensuring that Fairtrade coffee does not compromise on quality, meaning end-consumers receive a product that is both ethically responsible and tastes fantastic.

Prioritising the livelihoods of those at the beginning of the supply chain is one of the defining and central tenets of the Fairtrade Foundation, which is currently leading a campaign to do the same for banana farmers currently trapped in what the organisation is calling "an unrelenting cycle of poverty".

According to the body's chief executive Michael Gidney, the UK's supermarkets have almost halved the price of bananas over the last decade, while the price tag for producing the fruit has in fact doubled, leaving those farmers cultivating the crops in an impossible situation.

"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," he said.

Joining with more than 70,000 people from across the UK, campaigners are highlighting how important it is to safeguard a fair price for farmers, by calling on the government to take action. A box of signatures included on a petition highlighting the problem was passed to the secretary of state for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable's office today (May 13th). Thousands are said to have signed it.

While we may not sell bananas, we believe in Fairtrade produce and this is a classic example of why the effort we put into ensuring our farmers receive a fair price is of the utmost importance to guarantee a sustainable and equitable coffee trade for all.