Around ten years ago a group of our year 9 pupils started up a Fairtrade initiative, and since then the Academy have been keen to promote and support Fairtrade with pupils and teaching staff alike.
In the past the Fairtrade pupils have been selected by the Fairtrade Foundation to attend the 15th Anniversary of the Fairtrade Mark at the celebration at 10 Downing Street and to receive one of the visiting Fairtrade Foundation international producers. In the last couple of years we have also supported other local schools who are interested in gaining Fairtrade status.
The pupils this year have spent much effort in promoting Fairtrade around the school using the television screens, notice boards, going into assemblies and holding Fairtrade cake sales. They have also had a great success with the Fairtrade shop that runs each Friday lunchtime for pupils and staff to buy delicious Fairtrade treats, a non-profit shop using Tradecraft.
We have recently been informed that we have retained our Fairtrade School status again, reaching the highest award of Fair Achiever school, a real honour and a reflection of all the hard work the academy has done. The school is guaranteed to keep it’s Fairtrade status until 2019, but we won’t be putting our feet up! We will now be working hard to make sure we can retain this prestigious award in the future.
During Fairtrade Fortnight, primary school children were invited to spread the word.
St George’s Academy, has been championing the initiative to give a fair price for growers and producers in developing countries above that given out by some of the big corporations supplying supermarkets. Teacher Bob Stoner explained that a select few pupils from Church Lane, William Alvey and the Roman Catholic primary schools in town were invited along for the morning to understand more about the importance of Fairtrade to pass on to fellow pupils back at their own schools.
Ben James of Lincolnshire Co-operative, a keen supporter of Fairtrade goods, visited to do educational activities with the children and donated a batch of Fairtrade bananas to share among them.They learned about how the overall price is divided up and what share the growers get so they are not exploited.
Mr Stoner admitted that in this day and age it was even more important to get the message across early to improve the buying culture as shoppers are all, naturally dedicated to finding bargains and paying the least possible, without necessarily thinking about the consequences on the poor growers. He said: “We want to be a mentor to the primary schools on this rather than keep this knowledge to ourselves, as that is what the Fairtrade message is all about.”
We purchase our goods through Traidcraft, if you wish to buy from Traidcraft direct then you can here. The Year 7's are shown a presentation highlighting Traidcraft and what they are trying to do to help stop poverty. You can view a PDF version of the Presentation here (PDF).