A banana farmer from Cameroon visited a farm in Usk at Harvest time (Oct 23) to promote the use of Fair Trade products in Welsh churches.
Trade Unionist Mbide Charles Kude met farming parishioners at a mixed farm and then join them for a home-cooked lunch made with local produce.
The Church in Wales is working towards Fair Trade Province status which means 70% of its churches committing themselves to using Fair Trade tea, coffee and other products where they can and to learning more about fair trade issues.
Revd 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 was organised by Fair Trade Wales.
Mrs Wardman said, “It’s particularly good that Mbide’s visit took place during the time when many churches were 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.”
The farm visit took place at Lower House Farm, Kemeys Commander, near Usk, followed by lunch at Llanvair Kilgeddin Hall (1pm). It was organised by Revd Canon Tim Clement, area dean of Raglan / Usk and rural life adviser for Monmouth Diocese.
Mbide is Deputy Secretary of the Fako Agricultural Workers Union (FAWU), and was visiting the UK as part of the Europe-wide Make Fruit Fair campaign. He was calling on supermarkets and fruit companies to accept responsibility for, and to improve, the conditions facing workers on banana plantations in the South West province of Cameroon.
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