Page last updated at 01:02 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Thousands in 'go bananas' pledge

People fighting with inflatable bananas
Banana-themed fun events are taking place across the country

Hundreds of thousands of people are to "go bananas" in a bid to set a new world record for eating the fruit - and boost Fairtrade products.

More than 300,000 supporters have pledged to eat a Fairtrade banana in the 24 hours up to noon on Saturday.

Events are taking place across the UK to coincide with the record attempt.

Organiser the Fairtrade Foundation says its guaranteed minimum prices can help double the pay of plantation workers, some who earn less than 1 per day.

Growers can also earn a premium for investment in economic, social or environmental improvements.

Residents in the first Fairtrade towns in the UK and the US - Garstang in Lancashire and Media in Pennsylvania - will watch each other taking part in the record attempt via video link.

By choosing Fairtrade, consumers are ensuring producers are given the chance to receive a minimum price
Harriet Lamb
Fairtrade Foundation

Leeds will host its own banana-eating event in the city centre on Friday, while hundreds of people are expected to descend on London's Trafalgar Square for a similar event on Saturday morning.

The events mark the culmination of the charity's annual Fairtrade Fortnight.

It says that between 2002 and 2008, supermarket price wars saw 41% slashed from the UK retail price of the fruit, putting pressure on growers to sell more cheaply.

However, many shoppers have chosen to buy Fairtrade-branded products on principle, leading to its bananas accounting for one in four of the fruit sold in the UK.

But the charity wants to double the number of Fairtrade bananas in the shops by 2012.

Its executive director Harriet Lamb said: "We are calling on people to make a simple decision when they shop.

"By choosing Fairtrade, consumers are ensuring producers are given the chance to receive a minimum price and Fairtrade premium, which in turn enables them to earn a decent living and support their families."

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SEE ALSO
Cadbury Dairy Milk goes Fairtrade
04 Mar 09 |  Business
Island receives Fairtrade status
07 Jul 08 |  Isle of Man
Garstang to Ghana - a fair trade
27 Sep 04 |  Lancashire
What is Fair Trade?
18 Jun 02 |  Business

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