Fairtrade Fortnight encourages schools to close the door on exploitation
‘Many of the people living in poverty around the world grow products that end up on our tables. By informing ourselves about the way trade works, we can all buy products which give farmers a chance of a better, more dignified life’ – Fairtrade Foundation
Fairtrade Fortnight this year runs from 26th February to 11th March with schools, colleges, universities, towns, community groups and places of worship all taking part to raise the profile of Fairtrade farming around the world. The fortnight campaign is the highlight of the charity’s annual calendar of events and is marked with an action-packed programme of activities around the UK.
This year the Fairtrade Foundation are encouraging people to ‘come on in’ and ‘close the door on exploitation’.
What is Fairtrade?
In a nutshell, the aim of the Fairtrade Foundation is to educate consumers, manufacturers and retailers to make more ethical decisions about the products they make and buy, ultimately to try to get farmers a better deal.
They license products coming in to the UK with the Fairtrade logo to help consumers make smarter choices about their purchases. This really does make a difference to the lives of the people growing the food we love. Today – largely thanks to the work of the Fairtrade Federation – more than 1.65 million farmers and workers are in Fairtrade certified producer organisations.
Fairtrade has been synonymous in the past with the humble banana, with campaigners donning merry yellow suits to help raise awareness and funds. But Fairtrade alternatives are available on the high street for many other products too, including cupboard staples such coffee, tea, sugar and chocolate as well as some more unusual products like cotton, flowers, beauty products and even gold. In fact over 4500 Fairtrade products are now available to buy in the UK.
Here at Paper Plus we are delighted to be able to stock a range of Fairtrade tea and coffee to be enjoyed by our customers in staff rooms and offices.
Fairtrade in schools
Fairtrade fortnight is a wonderful opportunity for schools to open up discussions on where our food comes from in the UK, as well as teaching children that the choices they make can make a difference internationally. Over 1000 schools in the UK (including some in Paper Plus HQ town Burgess Hill) are classified as Fairtrade schools, where a pledge has been made to educate children on ethical food choices and where Fairtrade products are used as preference.
If your school would like to get involved with Fairtrade Fortnight, there is a dedicated website set up just for you! www.schools.fairtrade.org.uk is packed full of ideas on how to elevate the Fairtrade message in schools through every key stage. From simple filler activities and games to full assembly plans, lesson plans and virtual reality field trips, there really is something on the site to inspire everyone.
If time is short and you haven’t planned anything yet, why not take up the simple challenge to ‘put Fairtrade in your break’ by switching your snack for the next two weeks to one carrying the Fairtrade logo? Every action helps, no matter how small.
However you decide to mark the occasion, don’t forget to share your Fairtrade activity with the Fairtrade Foundation and you could win £350 to extend learning in the subject at your school too! Click here for more details.
Shop our full Fairtrade collection of products here.
Images courtesy of the Fairtrade Foundation