This week is the beginning of Fairtrade fortnight.

And Labour’s candidates for the EU elections in May are supporting it – and the campaign to stick with Foncho.

Linda McAvan, Darren Hughes and Eleanor Tunnicliffe - Sticking With Foncho
Linda McAvan, Darren Hughes and Eleanor Tunnicliffe – Sticking With Foncho

Foncho is the human face of the campaign ‘that aims to transform the banana industry to ensure those at the sharp end of the supply chain, the millions of struggling banana farmers and workers, get a fair deal.’
Foncho is a Colombian banana farmer – whose whole livelihood depends on bananas. He and his fellow workers are the people who suffer from the fact that the majority of bananas eaten in the UK are sold so cheaply that it’s often hard for him to make a living.

Trade deals and supermarket practices have forced down banana prices. The campaign aims for a ‘Fair banana
– which would be produced in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable way and consumers would have a guarantee that this applies across the supply chain.
So there would be independent verification that bananas are produced by farmers and workers who for example:
• Are able to sell at a fair price or earn a wage which covers the cost of a decent standard of living and/or sustainable costs of production
• Have access to fairly negotiated contracts, so as to be able to predict future income
• Enjoy labour and union rights and are free from discrimination
• Have adequate health and safety guidance and equipment
Are maintaining the environment for future generations.’

Labour’s European candidates are supporting the campaign – and they’re especially proud to do so in Yorkshire – which became the UK’s First Fair Trade region in 2013.
Linda McAvan, Labour’s Yorkshire and Humber MEP, is the founder of the European Parliament’s Fair Trade group.

Labour’s other candidates look forward to backing her work if they are elected in May.

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