We're already a couple of days into the Fair Trade Fortnight which runs from 26 February - 11 March. There's an online calendar of events including a talks by fair trade farmers, a banana race, and lots of coffee mornings, wine tastings, concerts and loads of other things. Find out what's going on near you.
Fair trade is a brilliant idea. A heck of a lot better than the alternative. I used to "hum" and "hah" about the extra cost which is usually a few tens of pence. But then I thought "If a Bolivian coffee farmer was standing here in the supermarket aisle asking for 30p to help feed his family, I'd give it to him without hesitation". So now I always choose the fair trade option.
Having said that, fair trade products come from developing countries by definition, which means they have travelled a lot of food miles. I generally try to avoid products which have come so far, preferring local alternatives. But I wouldn't want to give up coffee and tea, or chocolate, and I pick up the odd banana and citrus fruit, so these are where I look for fair trade options.
Here's my favourite fair trade recipe.
Banana-Choc Ice Lollies
A banana makes two lollies, so decide how many lollies you want and get half that number of fair trade bananas. Peel the bananas and cut them in half so that you have two short stubby halves (not two long skinny halves, if you see what I mean). Shove lolly sticks up the flat end of each banana-half to make a banana lolly, then dip the banana in melted fair trade chocolate. I use milk chocolate when I'm making these for the kids, but plain chocolate would make a more grown-up lolly. Then roll the lolly in roughly grated or chopped fair trade white chocolate. You could also use chopped nuts, multicoloured sugar strands, chocolate strands, cocoa powder- use your imagination. Now freeze for a few hours until they're solid and enjoy.
If you've never had frozen banana, you must try it. The banana flavour is intensified, and the flesh takes the consistency of ice-cream.