Windward Isle growers are supplying Sainsbury, Waitrose and CWS with Fairtrade prepacked bananas from this week in a three month trial expected to roll out over the next year. Fairtrade fruit is not new and has been sold in limited quantities from other sources such as Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Ghana. The Co-op sold its eight millionth banana grown under the scheme this week. But the Windwards is a major supplier to the UK and the decision could also have an effect on other Caribbean producers. Growers receive an extra $1.75 per carton according to Phil Wells, director of the Fairtrade Foundation whose aim is to improve crop revenues for Third World suppliers. Mike Attwood, responsible for the Sainsbury fruit division and the largest handler, said that eventually he hoped all prepacks grown in St Lucia, St Vincent, Dominica and Granada would carry the label. The pace of change will be dictated by how quickly more small plantation producers in the scheme can meet Sainsbury's quality criteria. This is monitored by Geest Bananas, the island's selling arm, and Winfa, the farmers' organisation. A spokesman for Geest added: "Our intention is to provide as much fruit as possible but it must fulfil the criteria." Potentially the Fairtrade label on Geest's prepacks could acount for some 40% of the 100,000 42lb carton equivalent shipped to the UK each week. The current target is 5,000 carton equivalents. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}