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The Banana Game


Ask the children what they think the most popular fruit in this country is. The answer is bananas. Then ask if bananas grow in this country. Explain this means they have to be imported from other countries. Say that there are 5 main groups involved in growing bananas and getting them onto our supermarket shelves. They are: Workers; plantation owner; shipper; wholesaler; and supermarket. Have a quick discussion of the role of each of these groups while you write it up like this:

Plantation Owner

Ask the group to divide into five. Next, explain that each of the smaller groups represent one of the groups responsible for producing bananas. Ask them to make a list of all the things they would do, any dangers they face or costs they would have, and then ask them to decide, if a banana cost 30p in the shop how much of the 30p they think their group should get.

Explain that they will have to try to convince the other groups how much they should set. You may find that the wholesalers need the most support in working out their role.

Once they are ready, ask each group to outline their responsibilities and say how much of the 30p they think their group should have. The total will be much more than 30p, so say they will now have to negotiate with each other to try to bring the total down closer to 30p or they will all lose out.

Give them a few minutes, and then find out the new amounts from each group, writing these up in the grid.

Then write up the amount each group would actually get if you bought a normal banana in a supermarket.

These are:

  • Workers 1p
  • Plantation owner 5p
  • Shipper 4p
  • Wholesaler 7p
  • Supermarket 13p.

Discuss why this is and whether they think it is fair.

Ask if there are any other types of banana you can buy. If Fairtrade is not mentioned, tell them the difference between a Fairtrade banana and other bananas such as how the workers get 2p more per banana. This makes a difference to the workers being able to feed themselves and their families, send their children to school and have enough left over to buy tools and equipment to they can keep making a living. Also, can be linked to environmental benefits of Fairtrade and its emphasis on co-operative working (see more information on Fairtrade here).

Circletime Discussion Point

  • What can they do to get a fairer deal for workers?
  • What other Fairtrade goods are available?


You may want to time this with Fairtrade Fortnight which is usually at the beginning of March. You could extend this to two sessions on Fairtrade by doing a Fairtrade survey of a local shop and/ or bringing in examples of other goods.

Resources Required

Flipchart or similar, pencils paper character cards


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