Tag Archives: Fair trade books

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These are a few of our favourite things!

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This week we want to share some of our favourite books & videos on Fair Trade and the banana industry. When each new staff member starts working at Equifruit, we are given a stack of books about bananas and Fair Trade so that we have a good understanding of what we’re getting into and the impact that Fair Trade has on producers. Here are some of those reads, plus some other good nuggets we’ve found along the way!

Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World by Dan Koeppel

If you’ve ever wanted to know everything there is to know about bananas, this is the book to read! From the science of the fruit itself to the growth and harvesting of it, and finally to how large fruit companies have been exploiting workers since it started being exported from Central America – this book is a tell all!!

Fighting the Banana Wars and other Fairtrade Battles by Harriet Lamb

Harriet Lamb may or may not be one of our heroes. She is the former Director of the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK and knows just about everything there is to know about Fairtrade. She takes us through the campaigns and successes of getting Fairtrade onto store shelves and shows how Fairtrade impacts the lives of producers!

The Fair Trade Revolution edited by John Bowes

The Fair Trade revolution is a recent find for us. The authors are some of the main people behind the success of the movement. They focus on the last 2o years of achievements within Fairtrade, and challenge us to do more while ensuring we keep producers and farmers as the main beneficiaries. It provides real-world examples on important topics like the tensions between large and small operators, the impact of recession, environmental policy and the danger of large operators embracing Fair Trade more in word than in practice. This book will inspire activists and consumers to keep making the right choices! (Description via University of Chicago Press)

Banana Split by Shebafilms

If you frequent our blog often, you’ll have already seen our blog post where we interview the makers of a great documentary on bananas called Banana Split. We love that it’s available in both English & French, and is shot through a Canadian lens.

Banana Split from Shebafilms.


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Ruth Walton’s Fairtrade Banana Fritters

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This tasty recipe comes from Ruth Walton’s book, Juliana’s Bananas (New Internationalist, 2014).  Read more about her book on our blog, or order one here!

Ruth Walton Banana Fritters Recipe


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5 Questions about Juliana’s Bananas

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Ruth Walton is a British author and illustrator of educational books for primary children. She has written and illustrated seven books including the Let’s Find Out series. Through quirky illustrations and lively text, these books help children to find out about the world around them and beyond. She is particularly interested in helping children to learn about ethical issues in food and manufacturing.

Today, in honour of International Children’s Book Day, we’ve got the spotlight on Ruth Walton’s most recent book, Juliana’s Bananas (New Internationalist, 2014), a superb resource which introduces us to the people who grow our bananas and helps children understand the challenges of getting this delicious fruit to your local grocery store. Ruth agreed to answer our…

5 Questions about Juliana’s Bananas:


1. How did you get interested in bananas?

I’ve always loved eating bananas but had never even seen one growing so I decided to go on a fact finding adventure! After learning more about the banana industry I decided to make a book which helps children understand how eating Fairtrade bananas can help families in other parts of the world.

2. Tell us about the producers you met. Is there a real life Juliana? What was her biggest challenge?

I was lucky enough to visit St Vincent, St Lucia, and Dominica in the Windward Islands, where I met lots of farmers. The real life Juliana who inspired the story works very hard every day to keep her fruit healthy, but her livelihood is always under threat as it is very hard for individual farms and small producers to meet the strict standards set by supermarkets and consumers. Hurricanes and plant diseases also cause terrible problems for the farmers over there.

3. Your story includes Juliana’s children, Bertha and Billy. What’s their life like? What impact do you think the Fairtrade system has on children?

On my travels I saw many great projects which had been funded by Fairtrade social premium money, including school buses, football fields, basketball courts, science equipment and computer rooms for schools. Buying Fairtrade helps to fund facilities which improve the lives of children and whole communities in lots of different ways.

4. Can you describe the collage technique you use so beautifully in the book?

I did the illustrations in Juliana’s Bananas using a mixture of techniques. I make hand-cut collages using painted paper and then scan them in to the computer and layer them up using parts of photographs. I add finer details with a calligraphic pen.

5. What’s your favourite banana treat?

Banana fritters are delicious! You can find them on page 25 of Juliana’s Bananas, but in case you can’t wait until you’ve got a copy, here is the recipe…


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