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Back to School

Schools in Scotland have been back for a good while now, and the rest of the UK is following suit this month, so it’s a good time to think ahead to how we can continue to include Fair Trade in the curriculum over the coming months in these challenging times.

To celebrate September’s Global Citizenship month Highland One World have launched their Wee Flags for Change challenge to design a flag based around a commitment to one positive action on a global issue (perhaps Fair Trade?) and share a socially distantanced campaign video.

September is also the month of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum’s annual awards to recognise and celebrate the achievements of individuals, groups and organisations who make Scotland a Fair Trade Nation. If your school’s Fair Trade group has done something really special over the last year why not nominate them here by Monday 14th September. The awards will be presented virtually in November.

An easy and fun way for pupils to learn about Fair Trade is to screen some short films, such as the recent series on a family of cocoa farmers produced by the Fairtrade Foundation. These are suitable for viewing in school or at home and include an activity pack.

World Cotton Day is coming up on 7th October, which is a good opportunity to investigate a Fair Trade product that isn’t one of the usual suspects like bananas or chocolate! The Fairtrade Foundation have collated information and activities here.

If you would like more ideas or help with Fair Trade activities in the classroom you can contact our Education Officer here.

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More Fair Trade Learning At Home

We’re back to school after the Easter holidays this week, although of course “school” is a lot different now. So if you’re a parent or carer looking for some interesting ways to get Fair Trade into your kids’ education, here are some more ideas. You can read our first post on this subject here.

Fashion Revolution week 2020 begins today, and is a week to reflect on the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, as well as look at the problems, both human and environmental, within the clothing industry today. Fashion Revolution have lots of fun activities for young learners, which can be found here.

If your children are looking for ways to explore their creativity, Divine Chocolate and Christian Aid have the competition for you. They’re asking young people aged 7 and over to write poems on the theme of Where does the chocolate journey begin? There are tasty prizes and the completion closing date isn’t until 5th June so you’ve still got plenty of time to get started. You can find out more here.

For younger learners, the Fairtrade Foundation have produced some home learning activities on the theme of Pablo the Super-Banana, a super fun character! They also want everyone to share their home learning with the hashtag #FairtradeTogether on social media. We’d love to be tagged in any posts too so that we can see the amazing work everyone is doing!

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Fairtrade Calculator

Have you ever wondered how much of an impact you could make just by switching one everyday item to a Fair Trade equivalent? Well, the Fairtrade Foundation have made it easy for you with this calculator to celebrate 25 years of the Fairtrade Mark. You simply choose your favourite Fairtrade product (I went with coffee!) and let them know how much of it you consume (I have 2 cups, although sometimes a bit more…) and the handy calculator works out just how many bathtubs that would fill in 25 years, and gives you some really interesting information on how your Fair Trade purchase helps farmers and producers. This is what I learned:

Over 25 years I could drink 18 bathrubs full of Fairtrade coffee and make life better for farmers across the world.
How many bathtubs of coffee do you drink?

Hugo Guerrero is fighting for the future of his family coffee farm. The climate crisis and plummeting coffee prices is making life harder at the Peruvian cooperative his father founded. Extreme weather is making plant diseases more common and more destructive, while market prices for coffee are the lowest in decades.

But thanks to Fairtrade, he is hopeful. ‘Without Fairtrade, we would not be growing coffee. It would not be profitable.’

Cafedirect are one of the companies buying the Guerreros’ beans on Fairtrade terms, meaning they get a much fairer deal and a better price.

Hugo, who studied Agronomy at university, is also introducing new organic farming methods to tackle the climate crisis. And he’s sharing this knowledge with the rest of his cooperative and the local community, leading to positive change across the region.

The Guerrero family can only succeed if we continue to buy Fairtrade coffee – so let’s drink to that!