The fairandfunky Fairtrade conference for schools
To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 2015, fairandfunky, a fellow member of the Holme Valley Fair Trade group, held their first ever fairandfunky Fairtrade Conference for Schools on the 6th of March. The conference was fully booked with 80 students and 20 teachers from across Kirklees coming together to celebrate and learn about Fairtrade in creative workshops from Shared Interest, Sea Pie Parcel, Coeur de Xocolat and fairandfunky.
With Sea Pie Parcel, children were inspired by images and their Fairtrade story to compose a piece of music using some unusual instruments, including balloons filled with rice and ping pong balls! Each performed their piece to rapturous applause! The images showed an Afghani farmer winnowing wheat, rice fields and a fishing community in the Ganges. To hear their interpretations please visit fairandfunky's YouTube channel.
In a chocolate workshop with Coeur de Xocolat, students discovered all about the journey of chocolate from bean to bar, watched a video about life as a cocoa farmer and took part in a chocolate tasting session! And the chocolate theme continued with Shared Interest as students were challenged to create their own design for a new brand of chocolate bar.
In the fairandfunky workshop students were asked to look closely at the Fairtrade Mark: “What do you see?” “What colours can you see?” Through discussion, students discovered that the Fairtrade logo represents the world and the people who live in it. The blue is the sea and sky, the green is the land, and the black is a person with their hand held high. When you see the logo you are reminded to think about the people behind the product, the people who grow our food. With this in mind each child decorated a plant pot with Fairtrade packaging before planting their own seeds.
The teachers also took part in their own workshop with the schools team at the Fairtrade Foundation sharing information on how to become a Fairtrade school, alongside presentations from the Conference Champion sponsors Social Progress, Riasca, Valli Opticians, Suma Wholefoods, Traidcraft and Kip McGrath Education Centres.
The conference came to a close with a very special message from Allan Saidi, a Fairtrade sugar farmer from Malawi. Fairtrade really does make a real difference to the lives of farmers and their communities. Fairtrade guarantees a fair price is paid to farmers. It also pays an added premium to invest in community projects: to build new schools, improve water supplies, invest in school buses, training and education for farmers and their families and more.
Each school was presented with a certificate from Jason McCartney MP which read: ‘Congratulations for taking your own little steps to change the world at the fairandfunky Fairtrade Conference for Schools.’