A CARIBBEAN banana grower was far, far from home in the snowy North-East today (December 5), sharing how Fairtrade farming has changed his life.

Nicholas Faisal, a banana farmer on the eastern Caribbean island of St Lucia, addressed students and others at an event hosted by Durham University’s Greenspace environment office.

Fairtrade pays developing world food producers a usually higher-than-market price for their product plus a Fairtrade premium which is invested in local social, environmental or economic development projects.

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Mr Faisal supplies bananas to a range of retailers including Sainsbury’s.

Durham University has been accredited by the Fairtrade Foundation since 2007.

Mr Faisal spoke in St John’s College, where fair trade pioneer and Traidcraft founder Richard Adams was a student in the 1960s.

Katie Ridley, from Greenspace, said: “He explained how bananas are farmed and how Fairtrade has benefitted him and his community.

“They have been able to build a school for children who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to go to school. It was really interesting and engaging.”