Our stories; Foncho Alfonso

Foncho has been a banana farmer since the age of ten, when he started helping his father on their one hectare farm. Now in his forties, Foncho’s livelihood still depends on bananas and he puts in long hours to make the business work. Up at 5 am to take his daughter to university, he returns to his farm to work long hours for the rest of the day.

Banana farmers face many challenges when trying to make a decent living, such as the high cost of fertiliser and the constant revaluation of the Colombian peso. Luckily Foncho is a member of the Coobafrio Co-operative which gained Fairtrade certification in 2011, so he can negotiate better prices for the result of his hard work. Foncho visited Wales during Fairtrade Fortnight because he wants to see all bananas sold for a fair, minimum price and every farmer and worker like him getting a fair deal.

A family man, Foncho loves spending time with his wife, daughter, and son, who also shares his love of football. In 2014 Foncho visited Wales as part of the Fairtrade Foundation’s “Stick with Foncho” campaign where he met the First Minister, Carwen Jones.

Foncho says:

“We experienced very difficult times when we weren’t in fairtrade. It was very worrying to have children and know you couldn’t provide the opportunity for the life they deserve.”