A VICAR will be swapping her usual attire for a giant banana costume to raise the profile of Fairtrade during special celebrations in Fordingbridge.

Avon Valley Churches (AVC) associate priest Nicky Davies will be donning the costume as part of a weekend of celebrations marking Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from February 24 until March 8.

Fordingbridge is currently working towards becoming a Fairtrade Town.

The first event in the town hall runs from 10am to 12 noon on Saturday (February 29) and will feature films, quizzes, games and a huge variety of Fairtrade products to buy, along with Fairtrade refreshments for visitors to enjoy.

On the following day, there is a special all-age service, with a Fairtrade focus and Fairtrade stall at 10.30am in St Mary’s Church in Fordingbridge.

It promises to be a fun and full event, with people from across AVC’s seven churches all joining together for the occasion.

Reverend Nicky Davies said: “We hope these events will raise the profile of Fairtrade in Fordingbridge. We are also speaking to local businesses, schools, service providers and other organisations as we encourage them to make Fordingbridge a Fairtrade town. Some, like the Co-op, are already supporting Fairtrade in a big way and that is very inspiring.

“Buying Fairtrade ensures that producers are paid a minimum Fairtrade price for their goods as well as an additional Fairtrade Premium. This is especially important at the moment for coffee farmers, as the price of coffee is lower than the cost of production.”

“All are welcome to join in our events and we’d love to hear from anyone who’d like to support the work of the steering group or get involved with supporting Fairtrade,” added Reverend Davies.

“Our team of Traidcraft reps are fantastic people who keep reminding us how important this is in our world today as we seek to ensure that producers get paid fairly for the products we want.”