THE Mayor of Dudley has been going bananas in support of this year's Fairtrade Fortnight initiative.

Councillor Alan Finch, Dudley's Mayor, stopped off at Sainsbury's Amblecote on Friday February 21 ahead of the two-week campaign which this year aims to highlight and tackle the inequality that exists between banana farmers and some of the supermarkets that sell their goods.

Cllr Finch called in to see the large range of Fairtrade items available to buy at the supermarket which has worked closely with Stourbridge Fairtrade members to help make Stourbridge a Fairtrade town.

The Mayor said: "I’d like to thank the staff at Sainsbury’s Amblecote for all the work they do to promote Fairtrade and for their support of Stourbridge Fairtrade and my own charities.

“I hope that local people join me in switching to Fairtrade bananas for a fairer future for everyone.”

Dudley Council is committed to contributing to the campaign to increase sales of Fairtrade products and is striving to achieve Fairtrade status for the borough as a whole.

Meanwhile Stourbridge has successfully maintained its Fairtrade status, which was first achieved in 2010, after resubmitting an application last month.

As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs until Sunday March 9, the group has donated Fairtrade hampers to be raffled off for the Mayor's charities - The White House Dudley and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

Staff from Sainsbury’s Amblecote, which celebrated its 30th birthday on Friday, and colleagues from the Merry Hill store will also be visiting borough schools to explain more about the Fairtrade initiative - which was set up to help achieve better prices, working conditions and trade terms for farmers in the developing world to enable them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

Supporters of Fairtrade say people can help to make a difference just by swapping one item in their shopping trolley.

Sainsbury's sells 650 million Fairtrade bananas a year - more than all of the other major supermarkets put together - and the chain's bananas generate £4m of Fairtrade money a year, which helps small farming communities in the Dominican Republic, Colombia, St Lucia, Panama, Peru and Ghana to invest in a better future.

For more information on Fairtrade visit and to find out more about the Fairtrade policy of Sainsbury’s visit