The Hawthorns: ‘We’ve earned our Fairtrade credentials’By Victoria Corbett
July 09, 2010
A Woosehill primary has been awarded Fairtrade status in recognition of the school’s work to promote fairly traded products.
The Hawthorns Primary School has been involved with a number of projects to promote Fairtrade among staff and pupils over the last year.
Stephen Hempson-Jones, headteacher at Hawthorns, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded Fairtrade status, this is recognition of all the hard work by staff and pupils this year to promote Fairtrade within our school community.
“The Fairtrade Schools initiative is a great way for schools to contribute to making the world a fairer place, while developing new skills and engaging with the local community.
“We’ve found Fairtrade provides a very tangible way to involve pupils in the wider issues of poverty and development.”
The Fairtade Schools scheme was launched in 2007 and is a national initiative established by the Fairtrade Foundation to engage young people in development issues and help tackle global poverty through trade.
According to the Fairtrade Foundation there are more than 365 Fairtrade primary schools across the UK and around 4,000 schools registered as working towards Faitrade status.
To achieve status, schools have to meet five criteria, including setting up a Fairtrade School Steering Group, which is made up of teachers and pupils. They also had to commit to use Fairtrade products in the school.
They also need to write and adopt a school Fairtrade policy, incorporate Fairtrade into lessons and promote Fairtrade in the school and to their wider community.
Schools have to renew their Fairtrade status regularly to prove their ongoing commitment.
Events at the Hawthorns related to Fairtrade have included a visit from an Indian tea producer, who explained the Fairtrade premium has helped the plantation where he works to fit an electric light in each of the workers’ houses.
This has enabled the children to study in the evenings and help with their school work.
Staff and pupils at the Hawthorns were inspired to see buying a Faitrade product can make such a difference to individuals on the other side of the world.
Ann Watkins, Year Five teacher and member of the school’s Fairtrade task force, said: “Millions of farmers depend on selling their crops to survive, but when prices drop it can spell disaster.
“If farmers earn less than it costs to run their farm, they face real hardship.
“Fairtrade makes sure that farmers and producer organisations get a fair and stable price for their products to help them support their families and invest in a better future.”
For more information visit www.fairtrade.org.uk.