SHOPPERS were going bananas this week for a free giveaway in the city centre.

Members of the York Fair Trade Forum were giving away Fairtrade bananas on Wednesday to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs until Sunday.

The forum’s Pam Hanley says buying Fairtrade makes a difference, especially to workers and farmers in countries like Columbia and the Dominican Republic.

She said: “We’re paying a lot less now for bananas than we did 10 years ago, and that means it’s harder for the producers to make a living. But the Fairtrade scheme means they get a guaranteed minimum price as well as an extra premium which they can spend to improve life for their communities, maybe by building schools or housing. They get better working rights and conditions, as well."

 Pam added: “We’re very grateful to Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, whose kind donations of bananas made this possible. Both supermarket chains only stock Fairtrade bananas, and we’d urge other retailers to follow suit."

 Other products sold under the Faitrade banner include coffee, tea, chocolate, cotton and jewelery.

York has been a Fairtrade city since 2004 and York Fair Trade Forum is a group of volunteers that promotes the understanding of fair trade and its benefits. To join the forum, e email