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Wellingtonians eat more fair bananas than other kiwis

Nov 15th, 2013 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Latest News, Most Popular, News

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GOING BANANAS: Fair trade farmer Wilson Sanchez on his plantation in Ecuador. PHOTO: Sam Mahayni

WELLINGTON’S Fairtrade banana eaters last week got to meet their maker.

Ecuadorian banana farmer Wilson Sanchez and his daughter Kelly were in Wellington last week as representatives of the El Guabo fair trade co-operative.

Wellington is the biggest consumer of All Good Fairtrade bananas, eating more than double per person than any other place in the country.

The Spanish-speaking duo, with a translator, did more than 20 presentations throughout the country, many of them in Wellington.

Mr Sanchez said he was impressed with the amount of talk in New Zealand about Fairtrade, particularly in Wellington.

It was the first time Sanchez had seen his bananas on the shelves in a consumer country.headshot

Fairtrade New Zealand spokesperson Pravin Sawmy said Wellington had a great reputation for fair trade and New Zealand had been one of the fastest growing markets for some time.

“It really speaks towards the ethos of the city that they embrace the Fairtrade vibe,” Mr Sawmy said.

Wellington became the first Fairtrade capital city in the Southern Hemisphere in 2009, when the city council made a declaration to support Fairtrade principals.

Fairtrade farmers like Mr Sanchez are guaranteed a minimum price set by their Fairtrade organisation which covers the cost of production.

They also receive a premium price excess for their product which allows them to pump money into their business and their community.

Mr Sanchez said kiwis have contributed more than $280,000 to El Guabo growers which they have used for education fees and school equipment as well as a new irrigation system for Sanchez’s plantation.

“Fair trade is important because it helps farmers to secure a sustainable price throughout the year,” Sanchez said through his translator.

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is a Whitireia journalism student covering the Mount Cook area in Wellington. He has a BA in Political Science and Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.
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