by Alli O'Connell, Marketing & Accounts Manager
This Fair Trade Month, Willy Street Co-op, Fairtrade America, and Equal Exchange collaborated to build the world’s largest Fair Trade produce display.
The World’s Largest Fair Trade Produce display at Willy Street Co-op in Madison, WI found space for each of the 18,508 pieces of Fairtrade certified bananas and avocados, which were stacked high and hanging from a pergola. Willy Street Co-op, Fairtrade America, and Equal Exchange leveraged a popular record-breaking trend in produce to co-create a powerful message and impact for farmers around the world.
“We are doing this because we want to draw attention to the Fairtrade International System, and we’re hopeful that this event will do just that,” said Willy Street Purchasing Director Megan Minnick.
“In the rush of everyday life, it can be hard for any of us to stop and contemplate how our purchase of seemingly mundane items like bananas and avocados affects the lives of people across the world; but when you’re confronted with the world’s largest Fairtrade produce display, it’s tough to ignore!” added Minnick.
In 2018, Willy Street Co-op’s three locations sold a total of 10,182 boxes of Fairtrade bananas, a little more than 400,000 pounds. Not only did those purchases support farmers and workers via the Fairtrade Minimum Price and other standards, but they also generated $10,182 in Fairtrade Premium money that went directly back to the farming communities that grew those bananas.
“The creation of the World's Largest Fair Trade Produce Display is a testament to the increased consumer demand for Fairtrade certified options,” said Fairtrade America’s Chief Operating Officer, Bryan Lew. “Behind each purchase of Fairtrade certified produce is a network of 1.6 million small shareholder farmers and workers who continue to face pressing challenges every day. From climate change to volatile global prices, purchasing Fairtrade certified produce is more important now than ever."
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