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Going bananas

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Bradford College and its Students’ Union have literally gone bananas in a bid to raise awareness of ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ which runs until 9th March 2014.

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.

MONKEY BUSINESS: (l-r) Bradford College students with Piers Telemacque, Students’ Union President

MONKEY BUSINESS: (l-r) Bradford College students with Piers Telemacque, Students’ Union President

Dressed up as giant bananas, members of the Students’ Union will break out into spontaneous dance routines during the lunchtime period to raise awareness on this important issue.

The humble banana is the mascot for this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight.  According to the Fairtrade Association, in the last 10 years, the UK supermarket sector has almost halved the shelf price of loose bananas while the cost of producing them has doubled, trapping many of the farmers and workers who grow them in a cycle of poverty.

The campaign aims to transform the banana industry, making bananas fair. This means that every banana farmer and worker earns enough to have a decent standard of living, works in conditions that are safe and has rights and benefits. It also means bananas are produced in a way that is environmentally sustainable too.

Bradford College and the Students’ Union have joined forces to spearhead a campaign to make Bradford College a Fairtrade College. Backing the campaign, Andy Welsh, Group Chief Operating Officer said: “The Fairtrade mark really matters.  We are delighted to be working with the Students’ Union on such an important issue.”

Staff and students will also visit Fairtrade places near the College and find out more about what Fairtrade means.  An expert will be on hand during the walk and there will be an opportunity to sample Fairtrade produce.

Other initiatives taking place during the fortnight include: lunchtime Fairtrade stalls, petitions; ‘Where does your food come from?’ classroom sessions; Fairtrade fruit smoothie bike peddled in association with Sustrans/BikeHub.

Piers Telemacque, Students’ Union President concluded: “It’s great to work alongside the College, students and staff in a combined effort to raise awareness on the impact and importance of going Fairtrade. We hope our efforts will pay off by Bradford College becoming a Fairtrade institution, where we will be able to massively educate students and staff about the benefit of Fairtrade for farmers across the world. Hopefully by doing our bit at College we can influence the spending habits of people at home.”

Find out more about Fairtrade Fortnight on the Fairtrade website: http://foncho.fairtrade. org.uk/

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