Fairtrade Fortnight 2014

Visit to Johnstone by Albeiro Alfonso "Foncho" Cantillo

We now know that  Albeiro Alfonso 'Foncho' Cantillo, a 43-year-old banana farmer from Colombia is visiting Scotland next week end and we are extremely lucky that he is coming to Johnstone on Saturday 8th where we hope Renfrewshire Fairtrade groups will come to welcome him. The plan is to gather at 2.15 at the bandstand in the main square in Johnstone to greet Foncho. We shall then walk as a group to the High Church hall in Ludovic Square where Foncho will address us and there will be refreshments.

Report on Foncho's Visit by Maureen Brough

'We had a very successful afternoon on March 8th with about 100 people of all ages arriving at the bandstand in Johnstone to see Foncho on his only day in Scotland - most had walked along the cycle track from various points in Renfrewshire -  The Renfrew group of children from Newmains Primary joined Paisley walkers at the West end of Paisley, also people from Kilbarchan, Lochwinnoch, Bridge of Weir, Houston and Johnstone itself, many dressed in banana suits or walking with large inflatable bananas! After greeting Foncho at the bandstand with a piper, most people followed Foncho to Johnstone High Church Hall for refreshments including plenty of delicious banana cakes! With the help of an interpreter Foncho gave us an engaging and enthralling presentation about his work as a banana farmer in Columbia and about the positive impact of Fairtrade on his own family and on his local community - this had helped the local cooperatives  to increase their banana production hugely as well as to improve local facilities with the help of the Fairtrade premium. Foncho was very patient with all the requests from people to have their photo taken with him and also was delighted to receive signed petitions from children of Newmains Primary school in Renfrew suppporting fairer prices for bananas.' Foncho said he was delighted to be in Scotland and had enjoyed the great warmth and friendship from people he met.

Foncho the football supporter!

Some of the walkers from Renfrew and Paisley ------------------------ Assembling at the bandstand

Foncho meets Provost Anne Hall ------------------------------------- Listening to Foncho

Three photos by Mary Alice


With thanks to Renfrewshire Council for the following official photos of the event