Ilkley campaigners fight for a fairer deal

Ilkley Fairtrade campaigner Karen Palframan on The Grove

Ilkley Fairtrade campaigner Karen Palframan on The Grove

First published in News Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Fairtrade supporters are getting ready to go bananas in Ilkley next week as part of a fortnight-long campaign promoting a better deal for farmers in developing countries.

Ilkley Fairtrade Group will also welcome the director of a Palestinian olive oil company to give a talk on how the Fairtrade movement is helping farmers, as part of the official Fairtrade Fortnight, which begins on Monday and has the theme of ‘Make Bananas Fair’.

The campaign aims to end the supermarket price war currently being waged over the cost of bananas, which Fairtrade supporters claim is driving farmers and workers in banana- producing countries into poverty.

There is a petition to lobby the government to end unsustainable supermarket pricing.

Chairman of both the Ilkley Fairtrade group and Bradford Fairtrade Zone, Karen Palframan, said: “One in three bananas is now a FT banana, so it does not seem an impossible goal to make them all fair.”

Ilkley has had official Fairtrade Town status – granted by the Fairtrade Foundation – since 2006. Ilkley Fairtrade Group has invited Taysir Arbasi, of Fairtrade company Zaytoun, to talk about the importance of Fairtrade to the Palestinian olive farmers and the impact it is having on their everyday lives.

He will speak at Ben Rhydding Methodist Church Hall on Thursday, February 27, from 3pm to 4.30pm. There will also be a stall selling Zayroun olive oil and other products.

The Sanctuary, on Church Street, will host a Fairtrade Good Taste Fair on Tuesday February 25. Visitors will be able to sample fairtrade goodies and vote for the tastiest chocolate in a “taste off” to pick Ilkley’s favourite.

The fair will be open from 10am to 5pm.

The Oxfam charity shop on The Grove will have a banana-themed window, and a supply of the petitions asking the Government to investigate unsustainable supermarket pricing.

On March 8, St John’s Church in Ben Rhydding will hold a spring fair, with refreshments on a Fairtrade banana theme. The fair will be held in the church hall from 2pm to 4pm.

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