Ministry of Agriculture Promoting ‘Fairtrade’ Concept in the Banana Industry

The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands is promoting the ‘Fairtrade’ concept among banana farmers to boost income and ensure the sustainability of the industry.
Fairtrade is an organized social movement, which aims to improve the lives of poor banana farmers and workers, by making sure that they get a fair price for the fruit on the international market. The Fairtrade label signifies that the fruits are produced under environmentally sustainable conditions and in keeping with standards of international labour.
According to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Donovan Stanberry, “small farmers in St. Vincent and other smaller countries in the region have formed themselves into a co-operative, gotten themselves (Fairtrade) certified, and are now making big money in exports to Europe.”
“This is the direction that we need to go in Jamaica and all the resources that we have in the Ministry is going to be directed to promote fair trade banana among small farmers in the traditional banana growing areas,” he said, while addressing a farmers’ meeting in St. Thomas recently. “Banana has very good prospects,” he added, noting that a lot of the produce was being grown in St. Thomas.
Pointing to the European Union’s support to the industry, Mr. Stanberry said that during the last 10 years, some $4 billion has been injected into the local banana sector and the Ministry was now at a point where a conscious decision had to be made on how best to utilize the remaining funds to increase acreages under production.

JIS Social