Dumfries Fairtrade Group will be handing out banana smoothies made with Fairtrade bananas and a  bicycle-powered smoothie-maker in Dumfries town centre on Saturday 1 March to raise awareness of the  problems facing banana producers.

The event will be part of Fairtrade Fortnight 2014 (24 February – 9 March) which aims to transform the banana industry to ensure banana farmers and workers get a fair deal.

Bananas have been at the heart of Fairtrade since they appeared on our shelves 13 years ago.  Together we have achieved a huge amount, with about 1.2 billion Fairtrade bananas sold in the UK each year.  But despite this there remain serious problems at the heart of the banana business.  Over the past 10 years, the typical price of a banana in the UK has nearly halved, whilst the cost of production has doubled.

This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight marks the launch of a special campaign to transform the banana industry and to ensure that those at the sharp end of the supply chain, the millions of struggling banana farmers and workers get a fair deal. You can find out more at www.fairtrade.org.uk

We are delighted that we have been able to borrow the smoothie- bike from Sustrans and hope that the shoppers on the High St will come along and find out about the campaign, have a smoothie and sign the petition.  And of course we will be looking for lots of folk to add some pedal power to make the smoothies too!

The smoothie bike will be at the Fountain on Dumfries High St from 10am until 1.30pm on Saturday March 1.

Other events for Fairtrade Fortnight in Dumfries include two films : A Thirsty World , a beautifully made film about the global problems of water resources will be on  Wednesday 26 February – at the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre at  7.30pm – shown in collaboration with WaterAid and Friends of the Earth Scotland. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.  A second film, UK Gold, is a documentary that  lifts the lid on tax dodging, exploring the way in which vast sums of taxes are funnelled away from the people who need them and into tax havens. Developing countries lose three times as much to tax havens as they receive in aid every year. Shown in collaboration with Christian Aid, at 5pm on Saturday 1 March  at the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre  at 5pm.

On Friday 7 March there will be a (banana themed)  Fairtrade baking stall at St John’s Church, Lovers Walk , as part of the Christian Aid Soup and Roll Lunch, 12noon – 1.30pm,  and on Saturday 8 March, you can join the Dumfries Fairtrade Group for some banana themed activities at the Environment Fair, DGOne Leisure Centre    10am – 3pm.

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