Banana Spotlight: interrupcion* Fair TradeBy Guest Blogger: Nikki Holzberg
interrupcion* Fair Trade was established in 2000 in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a global stakeholder community committed to building a sustainable future through responsible consumption, sustainable development, organic farming and Fair Trade.
We work directly with approximately 2,000 producer groups in Latin America, financing Fair Trade and organic certifications, investing in producer capacity building, exporting goods to the US and European markets, selling and distributing these value added goods, and facilitating Fair Trade Premiums. In 2011 alone, we generated over $180,000 in Fair Trade Premiums to workers in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Ecuador, directly improving the lives of thousands of workers and their families.
We are excited for the recent launch of our Fair Trade Organic (FTO) Taste Me Do Good* Bananas from a cooperative in the El Guabo region of Ecuador. Grown 100% naturally and without an ounce of synthetic fertilizers or chemicals, interrupcion* FTO bananas guarantee a healthy experience for farm workers, consumers and the earth alike. Empowered workers receive benefits, are paid competitive wages, and enjoy working in safe conditions. Among the workers, democratic vote has allocated Fair Trade Premiums for the building of a latrine and purchasing of school supplies for children attending local schools. High-priority investments for the future include providing academic scholarships to children, establishing a community medical center and building a public computer lab.
If your supermarket or university does not currently offer Interrupcion’s FTO bananas, then simply ask! It is astounding to realize the power and effectiveness of communicating your priorities. In order for a supermarket to stay in business, or a food service company to keep your university’s contract, they must be responsive to your needs; if they do not offer products that you have asked for, then they may very well lose your business.
Speak directly with a manager and let them know that purchasing Fair Trade and Organic produce is a priority for you. By doing this you are demonstrating a desire to maintain a relationship with the supermarket or food service establishment and are actively embracing your role as a consumer with the power to demand sustainable products. At the end of this blog post, you can find tools to print out and bring to your supermarket or food service meeting to help educate, engage, inspire, and empower!
A Few Guidelines for the Conversation:
1. When you ask to speak with a manager, find a table or whatever is available to have a sit-down conversation. This will demonstrate to the manager that this is not an offhanded comment, but rather that the conversation matters to you.
2. First communicate what you appreciate about the supermarket and that you would prefer to keep shopping there than take your business elsewhere. Does it offer your favorite Fair Trade coffee that you cannot find anywhere else? Does it have great customer service? Is the hot bar better than any other you have seen? Does it create a warm atmosphere that you enjoy? Sharing your appreciation will demonstrate to the manager that you are a valued customer who wants to keep his or her dollars in the supermarket.
3. Then communicate your priorities and why you value Fair Trade and Organic foods. Do you feel a certain responsibility as a consumer to support businesses that have demonstrated a commitment towards creating a just world for all? Do you have young children who you want to feed healthy, non-chemical foods to? There are lots of reasons to go Fair Trade and Organic – communicate why Fair Trade and Organic matters, on a personal level, to you.
4. Finally, offer information on Interrupcion’s Fair Trade Organic Bananas and any other products you want to be made available. It is quite possible that the manager has not even heard about Fair Trade or knows very little about Organic products. By sharing this information with the supermarket, you are empowering them to enable their buyers to make responsible and smart choices. See the links provided below that direct you to information on Interrupcion FTO bananas that you can print and share with your supermarket.
This is a productive conversation. This is you stating your deal-breakers and your bottom lines. Instead of silently protesting and taking your business elsewhere, you are letting the supermarket know what changes they could make to keep your business, satisfy your needs, and draw more customers in the future who value the same things that you do.
5. Follow up, follow up, follow up. At the end of your meeting, make sure the next step is clear. Make the person accountable by stating when you will next follow up and what you expect from them to do on their side to overcome any obstacles standing between them and sourcing a better banana. Encourage team effort to make Fair Trade Organic a reality!
Remember, we are all consumers with agency; we have voices, and our desires matter. We have the choice whether or not to embrace our power to effect change through where and how we spend dollars. Our actions reflect our values. Our dollars vote for the world in which we want to live. The number one way to get Fair Trade bananas in the door is YOU.
How to Contact interrupcion*
For more information on Interrupcion and FTO bananas, check us out at www.interrupcionfairtrade.com.
Let us know what supermarkets or foodservice outlets you are talking with and we will actively support you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (718) 417-4076.
Like us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/tastemedogood
Click the following links to print information that can be used for your meetings: