ASHBOURNE running club recently completed the first leg of the great banana relay- carrying a Fairtrade banana all the way from Market Place to Wirksworth via the Tissington and High Peak trails.
The relay was organised by Derbyshire Dales District Fairtrade Group to promote the start of Fairtrade Fortnight, from February 24 to March 9.
The five Fairtrade towns of Ashbourne, Bakewell, Darley Dale, Matlock and Wirksworth all took part in the banana relay with local running clubs passing a banana ‘baton’ on their journey through the beautiful Dales.
The Fairtrade Group scooped a top national award for their 2013 Art Cube campaign, winning the Best Campaign Award at the national Fairtrade Supporter Conference in London, picking up £700 to reinvest in their on-going efforts to bring a fair wage to farmers and workers.
This year Fairtrade Fortnight is focusing on bananas and there’s a special reason for the Derbyshire Dales to celebrate, because the most popular banana in the world - the ‘Cavendish Banana’ - descends from a single plant grown at Chatsworth over 170 years ago, developed by the famous horticulturalist Joseph Paxton.
Saturday’s Banana Relay was started by the Chairman of the District of the Derbyshire Dales Councillor Peter Slack, who presented a Fairtrade banana baton to the Ashbourne running group, who were led out of town and to the start of the Tissington Trail by Jessie Smith-Bointon, a young Ecuadorian who is a keen supporter of Fairtrade bananas having grown up in one of South America’s main exporting countries.
Councillor Mrs Irene Ratcliffe said: “The important message behind this fun day is that we all have a role to play in looking after the food we love and the people who grow it. Farmers in developing countries desperately need our support and, as a group, we urge people to buy products carrying the Fairtrade mark.”