Workshop Report – Exploring Food and Justice

The workshop was conducted on 3.8.2019 at around 2 pm. It comprised of 5 participants, namely; Alan Mayson, Katherine Phillips, Hicks Barlett, Brown Jackson and Wilcox Seibert. 

Introduction

The three participants in the ‘banana split workshop’ were selected due to their interest in gaining knowledge about banana production and distribution. The workshop proved beneficial for the participants, as they gained sufficient knowledge about who typically earns what during the process of producing and growing bananas. It further assisted the participants to evaluate certain aspects pertaining to the banana distribution process. 

Findings

The workshop played a vital role in gaining knowledge about the distribution and production of bananas. The core focus was on banana split and determining who gets sufficient share. Through this activity, it was analyzed that split share is not divided equally to the stakeholders (OPIRG 22). There is a need to consider the fact that participants were amazed regarding the unequal share of banana distribution. One of the core findings of the study is that bananas are not grown from seed; rather they grow from a rhizome or bulb. Further, it is analyzed that workers got 5 cent share in this particular activity. This aspect indicated that workers get the lowest share in the production and distribution process (Tilman et al., 20262). 

One of the noteworthy points to consider is that growers/workers put all their efforts to grow the banana; however, they do not get the required share. It is evident that the situation needs to be improved in case of banana production and distribution. The inequality is evident from the fact that retail store gets a high amount of 34 cents and the wholesaler gets 17 cents. It is argued that the results indicate the actual situation of the modern world (Barrett 827). It can be observed that fruit (food) intersects with the issues of class in the sense that there is unequal share distributed among the stakeholders. 

The participants further indicated that bananas are high in pesticide residue; however, there are other fruits that contain a higher level of pesticide residue as compared to bananas. The findings further indicated that strawberries and apples have a high level of pesticide residue, which is a major concern for consumers. It is evident that the consumers are most affected by the pesticide residue since they consume the food on which the pesticides remain in the food. 

Issues

Certain issues were observed during the discussion session with the group. The critical analysis revealed that issues exist in the production and distribution of bananas. The core problem is related to the fact that workers do not get sufficient share, which is a negative aspect. It is observed that in the modern world, growers get the lowest share, which indicates injustice with this particular group of stakeholder (OPIRG 54). There is a need to improve the situation in which other stakeholders should consider the share divided during the banana distribution and production. This particular issue indicates the inequality in the modern world and authoritative bodies can take the necessary actions to enhance the situation. 

Another core issue has been observed regarding the presence of pesticide residue on fruits. In case of banana, there is a high level of pesticide residue. However, it must be noted that fruits such as apples and strawberries have a higher pesticide residue level (Cook et al., 5). It is major concern for the consumers since they consume the fruits as per the desired level. It must be noted that pesticides are able to contaminate food, which can eventually cause a threat to consumers. It is critical to note that production and distribution process should be improved in order to avoid inequality and concerns. There is a need to reduce pesticide residues in fruits for the purpose of ensuring a healthy diet for the consumers (Cook et al., 11). It can be said that issues should be resolved on urgent basis, as these can hamper the quality of life of consumers. 

Strengths

There were certain strengths observed in the workshop activity. One of the strengths was that the participants gained knowledge about banana production and distribution. The workshop was conducted in a way that it enabled every participant to take active part without any hindrance or difficulty. This aspect helped in gaining confidence of the participants and they enjoyed the banana split activity. It highlights that the workshop was successful and allowed the participants to take active part as per their interest. 

Prior to the workshop, the participants did not have sufficient knowledge about the share distribution in banana production. They did not have knowledge about the fact that workers get the lowest share. One of the strengths is that workshop helped the participants to understand the inequality that is evident in the banana distribution process. Further, the participants were unaware of the fact that there is pesticide residue in bananas. In the workshop, they learned that there are certain fruits which have a high pesticide residue level. This knowledge is important for the people to gain, as it helps in understanding the food production and distribution process.

In the workshop, it was observed that there was a high level of unity among the participants. All the participants communicated effectively with each other, which is a positive aspect. They talked to each other like a family member, which further assisted in making this workshop successful. It can be said that communication is a core component of any process or activity, which helps in making an event successful. Hence, the strengths helped in understanding that the participants grasped the key knowledge about banana split activity and understood the core points gained from the workshop. 

Weaknesses

One of the potential weaknesses of the workshop is that it did not provide a preview of banana split activity. The participants did not have enough knowledge about banana production and distribution. However, they were asked to brainstorm the process. It created issue for some of the participants since they found it difficult to understand the basic concept of banana production and distribution. This potential weakness indicates that in the future, workshop activity should be improved and the participants must be provided with sufficient knowledge about the basic concepts of the topic under discussion.

Another evident weakness was that some of the participants were not able to reach on time. This aspect created a fuss for the participants who reached on time. Those who reached on time complained that the workshop should have started on time and it would result in a delay. However, the management was able to manage the elements by calming down the participants. Hence, it is observed that punctuality is one of the core components of any successful event. 

The workshop was not completed on time, which further infuriated the participants. There was a time delay in the completion of activities, which eventually increased the duration of the workshop. The delay was caused due to the lengthy activity and inability of the participants to reach on time. In the future workshops, there should be proper time duration and rules should be followed strictly.

Conclusion

This report discussed the workshop pertaining to ‘banana split activity’. The core findings of the workshop include that workers/growers get the lowest share, which indicates inequality in the banana production and distribution process. The participants further indicated that bananas are high in pesticide residue; however, there are other fruits that contain higher level of pesticide residue as compared to bananas. There is a need to improve the situation in which other stakeholders should consider the share divided during the banana distribution and production. It must be noted that pesticides are able to contaminate food, which can eventually cause a threat to consumers. The strengths of the workshop include sufficient knowledge about banana distribution, unity among the participants and effective communication. The observed weaknesses in the workshop are delay in activities and late coming of the participants.