Children at a Swindon school researched, debated and learned about Fairtrade in a special project which saw them share their knowledge and involve parents.
Pupils at Ruskin Junior School in Upper Stratton proved a receptive audience when one father presented an assembly and quizzed them on the subject and brought along Fairtrade fruit and chocolate to taste.
Sean Varney, manager of The Midcounties Co-operative food store in Old Town, was joined by two colleagues for the presentation. He explained: “Trading ethically is important for a co-operative business and we wanted to get the message across to children that by choosing Fairtrade goods they can make a real difference.
"My eight year-old daughter Amelia goes to Ruskin and asked if I could help with their Fairtrade Fortnight project and I was happy to do. I was really impressed by how knowledgeable and interested the children were in Fairtrade.”
All 370 pupils took part in the exercise, which included carrying out research during the half term break. It was developed by teachers as a theme over two weeks and parents were invited in to an open day to see the children’s work and also to a Fairtrade cafe evening at the school.
Ruskin Junior’s headteacher Simon Burrell said: “The project really engaged the children and got them thinking and developing their skills. They certainly know about Fairtrade, to look for the Fairtrade logo on goods and to understand what it means.”
Fairtrade Fortnight is the annual campaign by the Fairtrade Foundation to raise awareness among UK consumers to buy products which carry the Fairtrade Mark. It guarantees the producers a fair price and also provides an additional social premium to fund vital community projects.
Photo: Midcounties Co-operative colleagues, from left, Sean Varney, Sam Griffiths and Ian Rowe with pupils Renee Hill, Charlie Hobbs, Rudi Johnson, Archie Evans, Travis Gregson, Cameron Goucher and Leah Plumb