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Fighting the Banana Wars

DESTIN public lecture

Only 14 years ago you couldn’t buy a Fairtrade product in Britain. Today almost £500m worth of goods bearing the Fairtrade mark are sold annually, including tea, coffee, bananas, cotton, flowers and even footballs. At the heart of this revolution in our shops is the Fairtrade Foundation, which was established in 1992 by CAFOD, Christian Aid, New Consumer, Oxfam, Traidcraft Exchange and the World Development Movement. Starting small but with big ideas, it has turned a grass-roots movement into a phenomenon of our time – changing not only the way in which corporations deal with their suppliers and how consumers shop on the high street, but also transforming the lives of over 7 million farmers, workers and their families.

The Fairtrade Foundation is all about creating a better deal for workers and famers in the developing world. At its heart it aims to make sure the food on our plates, and shirts on our backs, don't rob people in other countries of the means to feed or clothe themselves. In this lecture Harriet Lamb will discuss her latest book, Fighting the Banana Wars, in which she travels through an often unjust system to uncover the shocking cost of our demand for cheaper produce.

Harriet Lamb has been executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation since 2001. She has guided the Foundation through a period of staggering growth, which has seen estimated sales of Fairtrade products in the UK increase from £30m to more than £493m in 2007 with more than 4500 products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark.

A flourishing grassroots social movement has grown across the UK. There are more than 300 Fairtrade Towns – towns where a commitment to Fairtrade has been made by the council, shops and businesses – together with 50 Fairtrade universities and 4,000 Fairtrade Faith Groups, including Mosques. Harriet was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2006. In 2007 she was voted the second most influential eco foodie in the UK after Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in the Observer Food Monthly magazine.

Adam Brett is a Fairtrade entrepreneur, director of Tropical Wholefoods and Fullwell Mill Ltd. Dr Teddy Brett is associate programme director, Development Management MSc in the Development Studies Institute at LSE.


Harriet Lamb | talks
Adam Brett | talks
Dr Teddy Brett | talks
Chair: Professor Stuart Corbridge | talks


Date and Time:

17 February 2009 at 6:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Hong Kong Theatre, London School of Economics &Political Science
Houghton St

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Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
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This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

Additional Information:

For more information, visit www.lse.ac.uk/events.

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