A decade ago, two-thirds of the bananas we ate in Britain came from the Caribbean, notably the Windward Islands of Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenada. Now sales have been whittled away to less than 10% as cheaper fruits from the corporate-owned, intensive plantations of Latin America and West Africa have eaten into their share. 

Caribbean bananas taste sweeter than floury plantation fruits, which are notorious for using some of the highest levels of pesticides in the world. This is partly because ­Caribbean bananas come from small-scale family farms that use much less in the way of chemicals. It is also because the people who produce them are not an alienated, put-upon workforce, but growers who take a pride in their crop. ­Bananas are the lifeblood of the Windward Isles. Without bananas, they face abject poverty. 

Windward Isles growers used to have special status in the British market, an acknowledgement of the fact that, when sugar collapsed, the British convinced their former colonies to plant bananas. Now the traditional protection afforded them has been cut, leaving them unable to compete on price.

Having fought the removal of their quota and lost, banana growers in the Windward Isles have tried to be proactive. By the end of this year, 100% of their crop will qualify for Fairtrade certification. By converting en masse to Fairtrade, growers see one last chance to save their livelihoods.

Britain owes a moral debt to ­Caribbean growers to continue to buy their produce for as long as they want to grow it for us. Not only is it a sweeter banana, it is also a more ethical one. But we can only buy them if shops and supermarkets stock them. British supermarket chains should feel honour-bound to give a commitment that they will stock Windward Isles bananas in the long-term. Some parrot that they give consumers choice, but when the banana price war starts hotting up, they are too ready to ditch the Caribbean for the cheap, chemically-farmed equivalent.

Spaniards support their ­banana growers in the Canaries. The French prefer to eat fruits from Martinique and Guadaloupe. British consumers should actively support Windward Isles ­bananas, and our supermarkets must help us do so by giving them pride of place on their shelves.