Banana farmer supports Church's fair trade campaign

A banana farmer from Cameroon is encouraging churches to use more fair trade products.

Mbide Charles Kude visited a farm in Usk on Tuesday where he met farming parishioners and joined them for a home-cooked lunch made with local produce.

Mr Kude is Deputy Secretary of the Fako Agricultural Workers Union (FAWU), and is visiting the UK as part of the Europe-wide Make Fruit Fair campaign.

During his visit, Mr Kude will call upon supermarkets and fruit companies to improve the conditions of workers on banana plantations in the south-west province of Cameroon.

The Church in Wales is aiming to achieve Fair Trade Province status, which requires 70 per cent of its churches to use Fairtrade goods like tea and coffee wherever they can and learn more about fairtrade issues.

The Rev Carol Wardman, Bishops’ adviser for Church and Society, invited Mbide to the farm to meet local farmers and discuss fair practices during his visit to Wales, which is organised by Fair Trade Wales.

Mrs Wardman said, “It’s particularly good that Mbide’s visit is taking place during the time when many churches will be celebrating their harvest festivals, and thinking about where their food comes from, and what is fair treatment for farmers, producers, and consumers – at home and abroad.

“There is very little likelihood of competition between imported Fair Trade items like tea, coffee, chocolate, or bananas, and home-grown meat, vegetables and dairy produce – and I am sure farmers from different parts of the world will nonetheless have much in common and many interesting ideas to share.”