CWS and Sainsbury sourcing first fruit Fair outlook for banana sales Fairtrade bananas became a new element in UK banana retailing for the first time this week with the news that CWS is selling fruit imported from Costa Rica and Ghana in 1,000 outlets. The fruit is being sold under the Oké brand, imported by Dutch Fair Trade supplier Agrofair and ripened by Geest. Flow wrapped and priced at 59p/lb, this compares with 45p for standard fruit. The current programme is between two to three containers a week in the initial stages to test the market. The Fairtrade scheme was established in March 1994 to give Third World food producers a better social and economic deal and already covers a range of products. CWS confirmed a higher price would find its way back to producers. At the same time Sainsbury announced there has been a trial of similarly branded bananas at its Finchley branch this week which might be extended to 30 branches or more. Sainsbury's source is also Costa Rica, with fruit being shipped in from Holland. These bananas are being sold loose in Finchley at 45p/lb for the time being, similarly to its normal supplies. Plans are in hand to create a catchweight free flow line at around 59p/lb against 31p/lb in selected stores. Commercial director Ian Merton said the move was part of a crucial initiative to gain Fairtrade endorsement for all its bananas from its main source through its partnership with the Windward Islands. Both retail moves come just before the Fairtrade fortnight which commences on February 15. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}