Campaigning NGO Banana Link, as part of the Europe-wide Make Bananas Fair campaign, recently visited several Fairtrade banana and pineapple plantations in Ghana.
This heartening story shows how the combination of Fairtrade certification, empowered and organised independent trade unions - and, increasingly, organic production - can really transform the environmental and social prospects for fruit plantations.
On a recent visit to Ghana, I visited Bayerebon School, where a group of school children film regular videos about their everyday life for our Pa Pa Paa LIVE website.
The videos are aimed at their peers in UK classrooms. They devise the videos, plan a script and film the scenes. Then a colleague from our partner organisation in Ghana, the Fairtrade co-operative Kuapa Kokoo, uploads the videos for us. We download them, do a bit of basic editing, subtitle them, and then put them on the Pa Pa Paa LIVE website. We often put together worksheets to accompany the videos too.
We've created a special resource for teachers joining in with Fairtrade Fortnight's cotton bunting decorating activity. This new resource focuses on adinkra symbols, the unusual patterns that feature on the wrappers of Divine Chocolate bars.
Alongside this, we've got a rather fantastic webcast from Kuapa Kokoo farmers' children in Ghana, where they decorate a pack of the Fairtrade cotton bunting with adinkra symbols and explain the significance of each symbol.
This is available to watch for free, along with the lesson plan, on the Pa Pa Paa LIVE website.
This Fairtrade Fortnight, why not choose the adinkra symbol that you think is most like you, and decorate your Fairtrade cotton bunting with it?
Tom Palmer, a children's author who writes fast paced football novels, went to Ghana recently to do some research for the latest book in his football detective series. He visited a Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farm and one of the schools that we work with, and wrote a lovely blog about his travels for the Dubble website.
It is always fascinating to read first impressions of people's visits to far away places. When you first travel to a new and unfamiliar country, you are like a natural anthropologist, excited by the minutia of everyday life, recording details and impressions that you will later find commonplace and familiar but which contain important insights that are worth holding on to. It is a bit like a dream that will lose its vivid colour unless you record your observations.
Over at Pa Pa Paa LIVE, the interactive webcast service we run with Comic Relief, we've got a special webcast up to celebrate International Day of the African Child on Tuesday 16th June.
We hope that it highlights the sort of aspirations young people in Africa have for their futures; free from poverty and full of opportunities.
International Day of the African Child has been celebrated on 16th June every year since the end of Apartheid in 1991. It honours the thousands of black schoolchildren who took to the streets during the Soweto Uprising of 1976 to protest about the inferior quality of their education, and draws attention to the lives of African children today.
Trading Visions and Comic Relief have launched an interesting new service for schools, in collaboration with Kuapa Kokoo and Divine Chocolate, called Pa Pa Paa LIVE. It's an online video broadcasting service, delivering webcasts from a rural junior school in Ghana to classrooms across the UK.
Cadbury and the Fairtrade Foundation have announced that Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate bar, and its hot chocolate beverage, will become Fairtrade certified in the UK and Ireland by the autumn of 2009.
Dairy Milk is the UK's best selling bar, with 300 million of them being produced every year. The chief executive of the company, Todd Stitzer, says he plans to convert their other chocolate brands to Fairtrade "as soon as we can do it". Dairy Milk represents 20% of Cadbury's chocolate range.