Big Banana Bake-Off begins Fairtrade Fortnight in Sunderland

Last year's event was a big success
Last year's event was a big success
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A BIG Banana Bake-Off, Fairtrade-themed church service and ceilidh are all on the cards as Fairtrade Fortnight 2014 launches in Sunderland today.

An event, hosted by the Mayor of Sunderland, Bob Heron, is taking place at Sunderland Minster today for fairtrade supporters from schools, churches and businesses.

From 12.30pm, people can find out more about fairtrade and organic food and sample dried fruit, nuts and snack bars, as well as buy jewellery and accessories made by a women’s project in Africa.

This year, the main theme is to make bananas fair and a petition will be handed to the Government to call for an investigation into banana-related pricing and practices.

The Mayor said: “Fairtrade is about people. Farmers in developing countries who work hard to provide us with the things we love, such as bananas, tea, coffee and cocoa, and the people here who support fairtrade so that farmers receive a fair deal.

“Many individuals and organisations in the city are now showing their support by choosing fairtrade. There are more than 4,500 fairtrade products available, many to be found in the city’s shops and cafes, and I would encourage everyone to support this international campaign and help to make a real difference.”

The event and programme of activities is organised by Sunderland Fair Trade Partnership.

Partnership chairman Karen Hetherington said: “Fairtrade Fortnight is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of fairtrade.

“The Fair Trade Partnership is made up of a host of organisations working together to promote Fairtrade. Through the Fairtrade premium, farmers have safe working conditions and earn enough to have a decent standard of living.

“I hope more communities and organisations will take part in the campaign.”

Posters designed by young people to promote Fairtrade in Sunderland will be on display. More than 200 poster designs were received as part of a competition and the winning poster will be printed and distributed to city Fairtrade outlets for display.

Events planned in Sunderland as part of Fairtrade Fortnight include speeches and debates and a banana bake-off at Sunderland College, a film night at Black Gold, themed assemblies and classes in schools, a fairtrade-themed service at Sunderland Minster, information stands in The Bridges and a family ceilidh.

Three city schools – Benedict Biscop and St Paul’s Primary Schools and Venerable Bede Secondary School – are all getting in on the act with a fairtrade project linked to their churches.

Pupils will create a large fairtrade banner, make a banana tree of ideas and play a banana game. The project will see them linking activities with their respective churches.

Children will also have the opportunity to visit the factory at Fullwell Mill Ltd, which produces fairtrade snacks, and there will be a fairtrade plants trail at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. Call 561 1163 for more details about the events.