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Have you started to notice your bananas are getting greener? This is because they are being taken out of the ripening shed too early to keep the supermarket shelves stocked. This is an early warning about the sustainability of the banana supply chain.

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With over 60% of the population in sub-saharan Africa living in rural areas characterised by lack of infrastructure that excludes them from the economy and keeps them living in dire poverty, could a trade, not aid model provide a solution. The success of the Asante Mama trade, not aid business model shows that it can.

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In 2007 ActionAid launched their Who Pays? report, which detailed how the growing power of UK supermarkets perpetuates, or even worsens, poor conditions for the people who produced our food. Their report revealed job insecurity, longer hours and less pay for Costa Rican banana plantation workers and poverty-level wages and poor health conditions for Indian cashew nuts shellers. So, has anything changed? Well, not really. In 2013, Liz May, head of policy at Traidcraft, which helps fight poverty through trade, stated: ‘Farmers and workers across the world are suffering every day because of unfair trading practices by supermarkets’. In 2017,...

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When we visited Rose, an organic cacao farmer with cacao producer Asante Mama to explore what benefits their fair trade practices had on her life, we found a very happy grandmother who is now able to pay her family's school fees and build them a better home.

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At the end of last year I took some friends to visit the Cambridge Union, an institution that has been dedicated to free debate for 200 years. The occasion: the new President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, was speaking. The theme: what does Africa have to do in the next 60 years to make sure they are not like its last.

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