FAIRTRADE Fortnight arrives next week to raise awareness of the plight of banana producers worldwide.

Cumbria’s Fairtrade Groups and Fairtrade Schools will come together in a range of events from February 24 to March 9 in the fight against cut-throat supermarket price wars.

Joe Human, Cumbria Fair Trade Network, said: “In the last ten years, the price of bananas to us has halved, but the cost of producing them has doubled.

“The result is acute hardship for the many tens of thousands of small growers and their families, and also workers and their families, on large plantations.”

There will be events across Cumbria running from today (Feb 20) in an Ambleside coffee morning with exhibitions at the library and Parish Centre.

Other highlights include a quiz at Brockhole, Lake District National Park, on Saturday (Feb 22), a stall at the Birdcage in Kendal on March 1 (plus the existing library exhibition), a coffee morning in Coronation Hall in Ulverston on February 27, and the Arnside Fairtrade Steering Group will have a stall in Booths in Milnthorpe on March 7.

Arnside House shop will also be doing a special window display, with help from the Youth Club.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron is a supporter of Fairtrade and his office switched to Fairtrade products seven years ago.

Mr Farron said: “This fortnight is a great opportunity to promote and celebrate ethical trading on a local level.

“So many local people here in Cumbria already support Fair Trade to ensure that farmers and producers around the world get a fair deal.

“As a community we must stand together to secure fair trade for farmers whether they are from Columbia or Cumbria.”

For further information about events at Ambleside email Cherry Robbens at dcrobbens@gmail.com, for Brockhole call 01539 792698 ext. 2741, for Kendal call 01539 727175, for Ulverston call 01229 480961 and for Arnside and Milnthorpe call 01524 761298.