Friday, 25 October 2013

Fairtrade celebrates 1000 schools in the UK

St Maxentius gained Fairtrade School status after incorporating Fairtrade into the curriculum throughout the past year, with staff and pupils committed to learning about trade across the globe. The award was presented to the pupils and staff at the school by Arun Ambatipudi, a member of the Fairtrade Foundation board and farmer from India (FFBFFI). 

Clare Bennett, Head teacher at St Maxentius in Bolton, says: ‘We are over the moon at being awarded not only with Fairtrade School Status, but also to have the honour of being the 1000th school. 

Throughout the year we are touched on issues nearby poverty, social justice and human rights, with pupils being able to explore the complexity of these, develop understanding and become more rounded global citizens. I am very proud of staff and pupils who have worked towards achieving Fairtrade status. 

Fairtrade has been incorporated into all part of the school curriculum from PSHE to math’s, from discussions on how much farmers are paid in the developing countries, to the amount of Fairtrade ingredients needed for a cake. Pupils held society events and encouraged school cooks to use Fairtrade ingredient. 

Arun says: It’s fantastic to see children across the UK learn about trade justice and the difference Fairtrade can make to those at the other end of the supply chain. In my group of people the Fairtrade premium is helping with diversification and food security – helping to train farmers in more sustainable practices – as well as with education and healthcare. 

I want to congratulate St Maxentius for all their hard work in gaining Fairtrade status, and hope to see more schools taking on the satisfying challenge of becoming a Fairtrade school.

The Fairtrade schools scheme, implemented in 2007, is a nationwide initiative by the Fairtrade Foundation to engage young people in development issues and help tackle global poverty through trade. As of July 2013 there were more than 5,000 schools registered as working towards the Fairtrade school status.

Being a Fairtrade school means that young people understand how trade works and how we can work together, to make it fairer. Schools use and promote Fairtrade products, and also take action for Fairtrade in their local community. By planning and running events to promote Fairtrade young people gain confidence and develop activity skills.

Katheryn Wise, Education Officer at Fairtrade Foundation, added reaching this landmark demonstrates not only the huge promise and enthusiasm of young people, their teachers and everybody in schools across the UK, it’s also testament to the appeal of Fairtrade, as a serious topic for classroom discussion, and as an attractive activity around the whole school.