Dr, Christopher Stange, consulate for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Northern Ireland, left, and Steve Caldwell, director of Youth Ministries at Granshaw Presbyterian Church.

COMBER, Northern Ireland — Several churches, schools and individuals from Ards and Lisburn Borough Councils in Northern Ireland have collectively raised 1000 pounds (approximately EC$4,400) for St. Vincent Fairtrade banana farmers.

Dr. Christopher Stange from the Consulate for St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to Northern Ireland and Chair of Fairtrade Belfast was contacted regarding fund raising events by different Fairtrade supporters following presentations delivered on Caribbean Fairtrade bananas and Fairtrade accreditation.

The largest contributors are Granshaw Presbyterian Church, Carr Primary School P2/3 Class, Alison Gibson, Jean McNally and Irene Kirk.

“Our Fairtrade banana farmers in St. Vincent have had several setbacks with Hurricane Tomas destroying the banana industry, followed by Moko Disease and Black Sigatoka,” Stange said in commenting on the funds raised.

“On behalf of the SVG government and Fairtrade banana farmers, we are delighted by these local efforts to assist internationally. There is great support in Northern Ireland for ethically produced commodities and we look forward to strengthening these relationships across Northern Ireland for the benefit of developing world producers,” he further said.

With “Operation Cutback” to clear the banana fields, Fairtrade farmers are beginning to re-plant in St. Vincent, so the proposal is to have this fund dedicated to inputs such as fertilizer, to be officially distributed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture in St. Vincent.

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