Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Press Release: Southend-on-Sea & Leigh-on-Sea Fairtrade Network encourage the Borough to Go Bananas! For Fairtrade Fortnight



THE Southend-on-Sea & Leigh-on-Sea Fairtrade Network encourage the Borough to Go Bananas! For Fairtrade Fortnight. They are joining with other Fairtrade Networks across the UK to ask individuals, businesses, schools, churches, organisations in the borough to pledge to eat a Fairtrade banana between noon on Friday 6 and noon on Saturday 7 March to set a world record. Members of the Southend and Leigh-on-Sea steering groups will be taken part. Will your readers, organistations andbusinesses join them.

The idea was formed by the Fairtrade Foundation who teamed up with ethical marketing agency Feel, to create a humorous rap animation that appeals to younger people. The animation, Rapping Bananas, will be featured across a range of social websites with seeding expertise from 7th Chamber. Targeted at 16 to 24 year olds, the short animation is being launched to encourage young people to take part in the Go Bananas for Fairtrade action this Fairtrade Fortnight (23 February – 8 March).

The track used in the animation is Matt Helders’ remix of the Roots Manuva classic Again and Again and has been donated by the artists to support Fairtrade.

Go Bananas for Fairtrade involves people pledging to eat a Fairtrade banana between noon on Friday 6 and noon on Saturday 7 March to set a world record. Over 90,000 people are already signed up and thousands of events are expected to take place across the UK.
Giles Robertson, Interim Marketing Director at the Fairtrade Foundation said: “Feel have created a unique piece of entertainment that will appeal to young people. Our campaign, Go Bananas for Fairtrade, aims to highlight the straightforward support people can give to farmers and workers by choosing Fairtrade bananas. It’s the perfect fit for the finale of our Fairtrade Fortnight campaign when we hope to drive sales and encourage people to find out more about Fairtrade”.

Rapping Bananas views like a music promo and plays on MTV and rap band clich├ęs featuring a group of three bananas rapping about their struggle to become accepted against a background of cool cars, moody alleyways and bling. Roots Manuva said: “I hope this use of my track helps send a message to everyone that by supporting Fairtrade you can get people a fairer deal. Let’s start the revolution by eating Fairtrade bananas.”

To view the animation and take part in Go Bananas for Fairtrade, and to pledge your support online visit www.fairtrade.org.uk/gobananas

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Notes to Editors
1. The FAIRTRADE Mark is a certification mark and a registered trademark of Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) of which the Fairtrade Foundation is the UK member. 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 is now recognised by 70% of UK consumers and appears on products as a guarantee that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal. Today, more than 7.5 million people – farmers, workers and their families – across 59 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.

2. 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 & snacks, honey, jams & preserves, chutney & sauces, rice, quinoa, herbs & spices, seeds, nuts & 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.

3. 7 in 10 households purchase Fairtrade goods, including an extra 2.3 million more households in the last year alone, helping Fairtrade sales reach an estimated half a billion pounds (approx £493m) in 2007, a 72% increase on the previous year. By the end of 2007 there were over 430 producer organisations selling to the UK and 632 certified producer groups globally, representing more than 1.5 million farmers and workers.

4. The dates for Fairtrade Fortnight 2009 are 23 February to 8 March

5. Roots Manuva will be performing in London in mid-February.

6. There are 57 certified producer groups in ten countries of Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa supplying Fairtrade bananas to twenty countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

7. Fairtrade minimum prices are calculated to at least cover average local costs of production - this price can be over double what producers would normally receive.

8. Fairtrade bananas were launched in 1994, and now one in four bananas sold in the UK is Fairtrade.

9. The banana is the most popular fruit in the world - people spend over £10 billion a year on the fruit globally.

10. While banana sales and demand soar, prices have plummeted, having a devastating effect on banana producers. In November 1997, bananas cost an average of £1.08 per kg in UK supermarkets. In June 2008 that price was as low as 50p per kg.

11. The majority of banana plantation workers do not earn enough to live and support their families – some earn less than £1 per day.

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