Ethical investors go bananas


Britain’s most popular fruit is being tipped in some circles as becoming an investment option to watch out for, especially for people who lean towards the ethical end of the investment spectrum.

Recently, initiatives have been launched to create greater awareness of the positives alternatives investments can offer, with fruit based commodities providing some interesting options.

Oxfam and the Co-Op have come together to create ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ a two-week long event to encourage investment in banana growing co-operatives of thousands of smallholders from Central and South America.

Oxfam chief executive Barbara Stocking said: “Already, 500 million small farms in developing countries feed and support nearly a third of humanity. Many via co-operatives, which enable them to pool resources, realise economies of scale and secure fairer prices. Over a million farmers are now involved in Fairtrade, largely via co-operatives. The encouragement of smallholder farmers – many of whom are women – offers the best route to sustainably feed the two billion extra people who will live on Earth by 2050. In the run-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, we call on the UK Government to champion the importance of increasing global food production in a sustainable and equitable way, and the crucial role that smallholder farmers and co-operatives can play. We ask that the UK promotes increased investment in sustainable smallholder agriculture in order to guarantee livelihoods for the poorest farmers, especially women.”