More than 70,000 people from across the UK have joined the Fairtrade Foundation in calling on the UK Government to intervene in supermarket price wars which are trapping tens of thousands of banana farmers in an unrelenting cycle of poverty.
Following World Fair Trade Day (10 May 2014) and Fairtrade Fortnight 2014, thousands have signed a petition in a bid to help make the banana industry fair for all.
The box of signatures was handed into the office of Vince Cable, Secretary of State for The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) today (Tuesday May 13), by local school children and Fairtrade campaigners.
Fairtrade Foundation Chief Executive, Michael Gidney, said at the petition hand-in today: ‘In the past 10 years the UK supermarket sector has almost halved the shelf price of loose bananas, while the cost of producing them has doubled.
‘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.’
The petition follows the release of Britain’s Bruising Banana Wars campaign report in February, which outlines the deep-rooted problems within the banana industry and exposes the impact supermarket price wars are having on farmers and workers.
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