Sainsbury’s challenges the country to go bananas for Fairtrade Fortnight

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  • Sainsbury's challenges the nation to tuck into a record 26 million of its Fairtrade bananas over Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 - 1 million more than last year
  • Sainsbury's aims to make Fairtrade a ‘half a billion pound' business within the next 5 years

bananaometerIn a world first, Sainsbury's is calling on the nation to eat its way through an additional million Fairtrade bananas over the course of Fairtrade Fortnight.

Sainsbury's hopes its customers will munch their way through an incredible 26 million bananas over the two week period, helping to generate additional Fairtrade premium for growers in developing countries.

Enhancing its position as the world's largest Fairtrade retailer, Sainsbury's has also announced that it hopes to increase the overall value of its Fairtrade range to £500million by 2015. Last year, one in every four pounds spent on Fairtrade in the UK was spent at a Sainsbury's store, translating to annual sales of £276 million for the supermarket alone.

Sainsbury's sold an incredible 650 million Fairtrade bananas last year - that's over 1200 bananas a minute. As well as giving banana farmers a guaranteed minimum price for their crop, the Fairtrade banana partnership alone generates around £4 million in Fairtrade premiums - changing the lives of people from all over the developing world. Around £150,000 (over £10,000 a day) will be generated in Fairtrade premiums by Sainsbury's banana sales over Fairtrade Fortnight.

Sainsbury's chief executive, Justin King, said: "As the world's largest Fairtrade retailer, we are committed to making this Fairtrade Fortnight the biggest and best yet. We believe that buying Fairtrade is a great way to provide customers with the best of both worlds - ethically sourced products and affordable prices. Our bananas are 100 per cent Fairtrade, so by buying them, and helping us sell more Fairtrade bananas than ever before, customers can rest assured that they are providing much-needed assistance to communities in the developing world."

"We are extremely proud of our Fairtrade credentials, and believe strongly that despite a current focus on price and value, shoppers are keen to know that producers are getting a fair deal also. Because of this we are proud to announce our continued commitment to Fairtrade and hope to grow this part of our business to half a billion pounds within the next 5 years."

Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation, commented: "Sainsbury's has lead the way when it comes to Fairtrade, being the first to provide its shoppers 100% Fairtrade bananas.  Fairtrade is one of the very best examples of how partnership between farmers, enlightened business and ordinary shoppers and citizens here in the UK can bring about real change for the future. We've got so much to be proud of now - that's why this Fairtrade Fortnight we're asking everyone to Show Off the Label - get loud in support of Fairtrade and what it is achieving. We'd encourage everyone to tell all your friends, family and workmates about Fairtrade. Also get Banana smiling!"

Sainsbury's Fairtrade banana sales have directly benefited many communities around the world. Whether it's providing farming communities with computer equipment for schools in Apartado in Colombia or building and improving housing projects in the Dominican Republic, the premiums generated from Fairtrade banana sales contribute massively to livelihoods of those in the developing world. 

Hector Jose Oviedo, a banana farmer at the Banaeras de Uraba farm in Colombia, a major supplier of Sainsbury's Fairtrade bananas said: "The benefits that Fairtrade has brought to me and my family are enormous. Through the money that Fairtrade has provided, we now live in a new house built especially for banana farmers which gives us access to schools, hospitals and local libraries which we didn't have before. Our quality of life has improved greatly thanks to Sainsbury's and Fairtrade."

To trace Sainsbury's challenge throughout the fortnight, customers can access the Sainsbury's Banana-o-meter to see how the nation is faring as it embarks on its banana eating marathon.

Sainsbury's has an admirable Fairtrade heritage - first introducing Fairtrade products in its stores in 1994. Significantly it was the first major UK supermarket to convert to selling 100% Fairtrade bananas in 2007 after their introduction in stores in 2000. Since this move the supermarket has converted 100% of its own brand roast and ground coffee, sugar and tea ranges to Fairtrade.

To see how buying Fairtrade bananas makes a difference to producers in Colombia and for more information on Sainsbury's Fairtrade Fortnight activity visit Sainsbury's Fairtrade Fortnight page.

Sainsbury's is the world's biggest retailer of Fairtrade products, with sales £276 million.

Sourcing with integrity is central to Sainsbury's ability to deliver great products at fair prices. It is committed to offering products that are better for customers and for the environment, in away that is also better for the animals, farmers and producers involved in their production.

Source: Sainsbury’s PLC.

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