Monday, June 8, 2009

Banana fanna fo fanna ...

Look what I found this weekend ...

Now take a closer look:

In February I wrote an article about bananas ... you can read that article HERE. After researching the subject, I made the decision not to buy bananas until I found organic, fair trade varieties. The problem was ... I like bananas. They are healthy, available all year long and they taste good. So, when I saw the "produce guy" stocking shelves, I asked him if they had organic, fair trade bananas. He took me to the organic varieties ... but sorry ... no fair trade. So, I started writing letters and asking questions. The store I normally shop in forwarded my letters to Del Monte who sent me a beautiful, long letter saying ... well, not really saying anything. They used a lot of words ... but never once said they would provide either organic or fair trade produce. So I wrote more letters.

In my favorite whole foods market, I looked ... organic but no fair trade. I asked ... I wrote ... I waited. And then, this weekend, I saw them ... beautiful, organic, fair trade bananas. Yes, they were a bit more expensive than the usual variety ... 20 cents per pound more. But ... they were available. So, I used the power of my purchase to send a message ... I WANT ORGANIC, FAIR TRADE BANANAS.

Now, I'm not saying that my letters and requests were the sole reason for seeing these little jewels in the store ... but maybe they helped. As I've said many times before, I"m a firm believer that if we ask, providers will try to accommodate us. After all ... it's their bottom line that's being affected. And I also believe that if we pay a little more for the "good" bananas and refuse to buy the "bad" bananas, the price will eventually come down.

So ... today's tip is easy: Write an email to your grocery store and ask them to stock organic, fair trade bananas ... or coffee ... or chocolate. If you see a produce guy stocking the shelf, ask him if they carry them and when he says "no" (as he probably will), tell him you're interested in them. And make a commitment not to buy bananas if you can't find organic, fair trade.

Today, I'm going to write a letter to the grocery store, thanking them for stocking these bananas ... and then I'm going to enjoy one.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!