Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Fair Trade and bananas?

Fairtrade began in 1992 when several charities including Oxfam, Traidcraft and Christian Aid set up a non profit making organisation to encourage people in the UK to buy products from Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCS) at a price that was fair to the producers of the products.

Fairtrade's vision is  'of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential'
For more information about the organisation go to

Is this all bananas?

Ecuador, a poor country in South America, is the world’s biggest exporter of  bananas but workers there are exploited by the wealthy plantation owners.  They are paid only 1.90 euros a day and work in unhealthy conditions which can damage their health.  People in European supermarkets are often not aware of this when they choose their bananas.

Watch this video on YouTube to see what conditions are like for workers at Los Alamos in Ecuador.

Please post your comments on this blog. Try to include the following:
  • your thoughts about the Los Alamos film
  • look at the food in your kitchen - where does it originate from? Where are your bananas from? Does any of your food have a fair trade symbol?
  • what does your family think about buying fair trade products?


  1. I think that it is not fair that the Alamos workers have to work in very bad conditions,in unhealthy conditions and for a very little salary(1.90 euros a day).
    To resolve this, the banana workforce have to be better organize and without using violence to conform the workers like I have seen in the film,that the policemen use arms to beat the workers.The workers live with their families in very little houses without hygiene,the bathrooms and showers not work and there is trash everywhere,this aren't good conditions for workers.
    -Sometimes my parents buy coffee from fairtrade in companies such us intermon oxfam and also some christmas presents.
    -My family think that is a very good idea and that is necessary for workers to buy fairtrade products.
    Irene Bernal 3ºA

  2. Workers live in very bad conditions: Workers slept two per bed, eight per room, without Mattresses. Toilets and bath are very dirty and they don't work; They also live in unhealthy conditions: Their water is not potable and it is stored in containers that previously contained agrochemicals. And workers have a low salary(1.90€ per day).

    -I don’t have any food with the fair-trade symbol. Some bananas that my parents brought comes from Canarias.

    -My family think that fair-trade is a good thing because it doesn't exploit people who are the most vulnerable

    Maria Dolores Sánchez Meroño (Loles) 3ºB

  3. -I think that workers live in unhealthy conditions, because, they don’t have potable water, the toilets and the bathrooms are very dirty and some of them don’t work, and in the bedroom they can’t sleep well because the beds don’t have mattresses and sleep in pair, and also the worker’s family sleep with them. And in the other hand they have salary of 1.90€ per day.
    -In my house, the bananas come from Canarias, and we don’t bought food with the fair-trade symbol.
    -My family thinks that this is good idea.

    Virginia Sánchez Hernández (3ºB e.s.o)

  4. I think that workers live in unhealthy and bad conditions, because they do not have access to safe fresh water, toilets are absolutely dirty and they have to sleep in pairs.
    the few number of people who work earn only 1.90 euros a day and the rest, do not have a job. In my opinion this is not fair.

    - In my house there not any food with the fairtrade symbol, but some of the bananas that my parents buy come from Canarias.

    - My family think that it is a very good idea because the price paid to producers allows them have a decent quality of life.

    Irene Orcero 3ºA

  5. In my opinion, I think that the set of charities that are encouraging people to buy products by a reasonable price is a good idea because like this, products' producers get a fair profit.
    In the case of the banana's producers in Ecuador, fairtrade is an important way for them because they work unhealthily for wealthy owners, and they get only 1.90 € for their work.

    I think that the Fenacle Organization of "Los Alamos" is a very good way to stop workers exploitation because they join to agree owners to do a fairtrade and to improve their quality of life (they sleep in pairs without mattresses, there is no drinking water, and the toilets are very dirty and close to the kitchen).

    In my house all the fruit and vegetables are fresh and are origin in the land. Also, all the bananas in my house only come from Canarias.
    The food that I consume don't have the fairtrade symbol but some packs of coffee have.
    My family think that fairtrade is a very good thing because producers have to get a bigger profit than intermediaries because therefore they produce the products.

    Nerea Arizaga 3ºA

  6. I think that what they are doing various charitable organizations is fine because that help less developed countries, and they buy food at a fair price, as they are trying to buy the UK to the countries of LECD's. People who buy the bananas do not see all the effort of workers who only get paid around $ 2 a day, that working is bad for health ...
    What is the organization doing FENACLE is a good idea to end the exploitation of workers because they bind to a particular agreement to try to make fair trade and workers and have more quality of life.
    -In my house all fruits and vegetables have the fair trade symbol only comes in Caqueta some coffee or something like that. Like bananas in my house just come from the Canarias.
    - My family Thinks it's a very good idea Because the Price Paid to Producers Gives Them a Better quality of life.

    Mar Arizaga 3ºA

  7. What I think about the video is that is impossible to life in those conditions; they don’t have anything including the lack of clean water, and the dirty of the entire floor and I cannot think how can a person which has everything and doesn’t need any more, attack this groups with weapons that will make them to life even worse and only because they are asking for only a few conditions. I think that this should change by imposing years of jail and taxes and improving the salary of Alamos workers and their conditions.
    Most of the food of my kitchen comes from different regions, but normally all of them of Spain. My bananas are from Canarias, no my food doesn’t have a fair-trade symbol because here in Spain only a few products have this symbol.
    Before I tell them they don’t know anything but now they think that they are going to look to the foods with this symbol, to help that human exploitation stopped.
    Lola Jiménez Celdrán. 3ºB

  8. -I think fair trade is necessary because many employers are exploited by their heads which are richer and don’t respect the worker’s rights we have several examples in the film:
    Workers are paid only 570 euros per month so they live in very bad conditions: eight people living in the same slum without mattresses, without working toilets or showers, without drinking water, and which is worst, the only water they can drink is stored in containers previously used for storing chemicals. And when they finally join in unions to claim for their rights, their boss strikes with firearms and almost throw them into a river.
    -Fruits and many other products in my kitchen come from Spain, but others come from some Asian or South American countries. My bananas are from Canarias and few products have a fair trade symbol, only coffee (by nestle) and tea (by intermon oxfam)
    -My family didn’t know about fair trade until I told them, but when I did, they said they were going to try to buy those products with the symbol instead of the normal ones, anyway, there are few products with it in Spain, and so it’s a little difficult to find them.
    Leticia Casaú Cavas 3.B

  9. I think that this is unfair trade becuase they work a lot and they receive very little money every day (1.9 €).
    They sleep eight people per room, also their wives live in the plantation. Toilets are in very unhealthy conditions because they are dirty or even they do not work. The cantine is near from toilets.
    Also this is not fair trade becuase workers mustn't be beaten.
    -I don't have food that is from fairtrade, maybe coffee. In my house, bananas are from Canarias.
    -My parents think that is good idea, workers get more profits and better quality of life.
    Ángela Tomás Ros 3ºA

  10. I think that is not fair for the workers because they work a lot and they receive little money every day (1.90€).
    They live in bad conditions because they don´t have access to potable water, they sleep two in one bed and the toilets and baths are dirty.

    -In my house there not any food with the fairtrade symbol, and usually the bananas came from Canarias.

    -My family think that the fair trade is a good think.
    Sonia Murcia Gálevez 3ºA

  11. I think that is not fair trade because workers work a lot of hours and they only get 1.90euros a day. Workers work in unhealthy conditions and this is a problem to their health.

    The food of my kitchen come mostly from Asia and South America.
    The bananas that are in my house are from Canarias.
    I didn´t see any food with the fair trades symbol.
    My family think that fair trade is a good think

    Alejandro Cegarra Ureña 3ºA

  12. -I think that the workers have very bad conditions for work.They receive 1,90€ for every day.The workers work in unhealthy conditions.
    -The food in my house come from Asia and America but the bananas are from ''Canary Islands''.I
    don´t see a fair trade symbol.
    -My family think that is good for the people.

    Alberto Vidal Silvente 3ºA

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  14. I think workers should receive more money than they are paid ( 1.90) euros a day . They are exploted, they don't have potable water, medicins, properly food or any protection, they can feel ill due to the chemicals products that are used. Some of them are insulted or threatened if they belong to an union group for protesting against their bad work conditions.

    - My bananas come from Canary islands. Yes, it has a fair trade symbol.

    - My family think that is good for the people because this will improve their life quality and people will earn a fair salary.


  15. I think that it is not fair that the Alamos workers have to work in very bad conditions, is little money that they receive, 1.90€ to day. They are exploted, and unhealthy and don't have access to potable water.
    I don’t have any food with the fair-trade symbol but some bananas that my parents brought comes from Canarias.

    My family thick that the fair is good.