News - 1st October 2019

Individual changes have the power to change lives


Having a positive impact on other people and wider communities is a great thing.


Community is at the heart of #whatwedo at the Co-op and that’s why we’re proud to sponsor parkrun – providing a great and inclusive opportunity for communities to bring people together and to keep active and well.


parkrun encourages us all to make healthy swaps that make us healthier and bring communities together – values that are perfectly in line with ours at the Co-op.


At the Co-op we also think about our global community and the countless producers around the world that create the products we love. That’s why we’re proud of our commitment to Fairtrade.


By picking up everyday products in your Co-op that carry the Fairtrade Mark, you can make that positive impact on people and their communities – whether that’s through a bunch of bananas or a packet of coffee.


This October, Fairtrade is celebrating 25 years of making a difference, through which Co-op has been there every step of the way. To celebrate, on Saturday 5 October, we’ll be at the Heaton Park parkrun giving out exotic Fairtrade bananas to the parkrunners!


As well as these bananas being a delicious and healthy choice, each one makes a positive difference to the lives of our workers and communities.


Fairtrade guarantees farmers a minimum price, and an additional premium is paid to workers to invest in business or community projects of their choice.  As well as opportunity, this gives producers a voice that they deserve, empowering them to make their communities and businesses stronger. Watch our 25 Year video to hear from producers on what Fairtrade means to them.


One of our banana producers, Anthony Blay, General Manager of Volta River Estates Ltd, told us more about how Fairtrade has benefitted his business and community:
“Volta River Estates Limited is a small banana growing association in Ghana, West Africa. We were one of the first suppliers of Fairtrade bananas to the Co-op in 2000. The sale of Fairtrade bananas has helped support the building of schools in the local communities.


Fairtrade funds have also been used to provide free healthcare, clean water storage facilities and a new hospital administrative block as well as specially treated mosquito nets that have been distributed to protect against malaria.”


Individual changes have the power to change lives. Why don’t you consider the impact you can make with Fairtrade’s impact calculator – it might not seem like much each time you choose a banana, but it sure adds up!


Through buying Fairtrade bananas, you have the power to join us in changing lives for the better. That’s why making a small swap, such as pledging to buy only Fairtrade bananas, can have a really significant impact.


Just like parkrun’s #HealthySwaps challenge; small swaps can add up to big health benefits. So why not join us in making a swap that is both beneficial to communities and healthy at the same time?


Sign up to find out more about #HealthySwaps and parkrun at https://healthyswaps.parkrun.org.uk, and make some little changes that will keep you going in the right direction. Tag us @coopuk and share your favourite #HealthySwaps and #FairtradePledge.


Did you know? Some Co-op Fairtrade banana facts:

  • We were the first supermarket to sell Fairtrade bananas in 2000.
  • We moved all our bananas to Fairtrade in 2012.
  • We are committed to a 100% co-operative supply, sourcing 50% from smallholder farmers.
  • We ensure that even where bananas are used as an ingredient, producers benefit.
  • Our bananas help us to invest in community projects to support banana producers in Panama and Dominican Republic.

You can find out more about our Fairtrade bananas and producers here.

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