Media Release: Colombian Fairtrade farmer visits Glasgow for Fairtrade Fornight


GLASGOW will be welcoming the face of Fairtrade Fortnight – Colombian banana farmer, Foncho – to the city this Fairtrade Fortnight, as part of a campaign to highlight the hardships faced by banana farmers.

From 24 February to 9 March, the UK will be ‘going bananas’ to demand fair wages and better living and working conditions for farmers across the globe, and supporters across Glasgow will be making their mark to help Make Bananas Fair.

Albeiro Alfonso ‘Foncho’ Cantillo, now becoming a well-known face across the UK, will be meeting fellow farmers at Mansfield Park Farmers Market, Partick, on Saturday 8 March, where a special Fairtrade fruit stall will be erected for the day.

Afterwards, Foncho will be doing a Q&A with four schools from the area at St Peters Church Hall adjacent to the Market, which the public are welcome to join.

Foncho will then be travelling west to Johnstone, Renfrewshire, to meet Fairtrade supporters in the area and take part in a banana relay, followed by a presentation and more Q&A with local campaigners and school students.

As a banana farmer, and the face of Fairtrade’s Make Bananas Fair campaign, Foncho knows, first-hand, the difference Fairtrade makes to the lives of farmers and workers in developing countries.

Scott Erwin, chair of the Glasgow Fairtrade Co-operative, says: “We can’t wait to welcome Foncho to Glasgow this Fairtrade Fortnight. It is a rare opportunity to learn something about banana farming, and how the decisions we make here in the UK can affect the lives of those in developing countries, who are producing our food.

“We hope the people of Partick and Johnstone will join us in welcoming Foncho and learning something new about where our food comes from, and at what cost.

“Bananas are the most popular and most traded fruit in the world – but the truth is they are now sold so cheaply that many farmers and workers who produce them are being trapped in a cycle of poverty.”

Supporters in Glasgow have joined forces with Foncho and the rest of the UK on www.stickwithfoncho.org.uk to highlight the impact of unfair pricing on farmers and workers who grow the nation’s favourite fruit.

Foncho, a banana farmer from Colombia, is the face of the campaign, and is also coming to the UK during Fairtrade Fortnight to ask the UK Government to intervene to end unfair pricing practice.

Fairtrade ensures farmers across the developing world receive a decent price for their hard work, as well as an additional Fairtrade Premium, used by producers and workers to invest in their communities – whether that’s building a new school or hospital, or investing in better and more environmental business practices.

Fairtrade Fortnight is the highlight of the year for thousands of Fairtrade campaigners up and down the country.

For the next two weeks, shoppers, businesses, supermarkets, high street retailers, community groups, schools, colleges and universities and even whole towns will be spreading the word about Fairtrade by hosting producers events, bake-offs, tea parties and coffee mornings using Fairtrade ingredients; asking their places of work to offer Fairtrade beverages or encouraging their friends and family to buy more Fairtrade.

You can find out more about Fairtrade Fortnight, and how to get involved, at www.stickwithfoncho.org.uk

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If you would like to send a photographer or journalist to the following event, please contact Donna Simpson at donna.simpson@fairtrade.org.uk

Event: Mansfield Farmers Market 10:50am photocall

11am: presentation and Q&A session at St Peters Church Hall
2:30pm: Johnstone Bandstand joining the Banana Relay

Date: Saturday 8 March 2014

Venue: Mansfield Farmers Market, Partick, Glasgow
St Peters Church Hall, 46 Hyndland Street Partick, Glasgow G11 5PS

Johnstone Bandstand, Houston Square, Johnstone at 2:30pm

Notes to Editors

The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products which meet international Fairtrade standards. This independent consumer label appears on products to show that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal from trade. Today, more than 1.3 million people – farmers and workers – across more than 70 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.

Over 4,500 products have been licensed to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark including coffee, tea, herbal teas, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, bananas, grapes, pineapples, mangoes, avocados, apples, pears, plums, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, satsumas, clementines, mandarins, lychees, coconuts, dried fruit, juices, smoothies, biscuits, cakes and snacks, honey, jams and preserves, chutney and sauces, rice, quinoa, herbs and spices, seeds, nuts and nut oil, wines, beers, rum, confectionary, muesli, cereal bars, yoghurt, ice-cream, flowers, sports balls, sugar body scrub and cotton products including clothing, homeware, cloth toys, cotton wool, olive oil, gold, silver and platinum.

Awareness of the FAIRTRADE Mark continues to be high in 2013, at a level of 77 per cent.

Estimated retail sales of Fairtrade products in 2012 reached £1.57 billion, a 19 per cent increase on sales of £1.32 billion in 2011.

PRESS RELEASE issued by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum. You too can post your story ideas for journalists (aka Press or media releases), on allmediascotland.com. Email info@allmediascotland.com for more information.

Contact: Deirdre Muldowney

Email: admin@sftf.org.uk