Cherry Burton welcomed Aimeth Fernandez Angulo to the village on Sunday 9th March 2014 – “Banana Sunday”! Aimeth is a banana farmer and manager of a banana growers’ co-operative in the Magdalena region of northern Colombia. She grows bananas on her small farm of 1.3 hectares, producing around 67 boxes (1.2 tonnes) of bananas a week. She has been employed by the co-operative, ASOBANARCOOP, for 26 years, using her skills as a trained economist with extensive experience in business management.
The co-operative was set up in 1987 by 17 small-scale farmers who formed an association to collectively export their bananas and improve their livelihoods. It now has 44 members, including 11 women. The average farm size is three hectares with an average annual yield of 30 tonnes of bananas per hectare, providing 80% of the farmers’ incomes. Fairtrade sales now account for 90% of the total, with ASOBANARCOOP Fairtrade bananas available in The Co-operative, Sainsbury’s, and Spar.
We were privileged to have Aimeth as our guest, and to hear her compelling story of the difference it makes to her life if we buy Fairtrade bananas!