What is Fairtrade?
Farmers from countries around the world often grow and gather produce and sell it so that people like us in Wales can use or eat it. Before Fairtrade was introduced, farms were not paid fairly for their produce (as little as 60p a day!) and they worked hard in challenging working conditions for the smallest percentage of profit. Fairtrade makes a huge difference to farmers' standard of living!
The objectives of Fairtrade are to secure:
Fairtrade Fortnight is held annually between the end of February and early March with the main aim of raising the awareness of adults and children of the importance of buying Fairtrade goods. The fortnight has a different theme each year and 2021 focuses on how climate change affects farmers across the world.
Do you know this label or logo?
Yes, this is the Fairtrade logo.
What exactly can you see in the logo?
Different people see different things. Some see a parrot and some see a green leaf. Some see the black swirl in the middle as a road leading to a better future. The most popular explanation is that there is a person in the middle and this person represents the people who are at the centre of the Fairtrade system: a farmer showing off produce, a shopper shopping or someone fighting for farmers who are suffering.
What about the colours? Can you guess why blue and green are used?
The blue sky is said to be a symbol of hope for the workers and the green is thought to symbolise growth.
Martin Luther King Jr. is known as a civil rights leader, minister and philanthropist who gave speeches with important messages. Among the most important is the immortal line 'I have a dream ...'
On Christmas Eve 1967, while speaking from the pulpit of the Atlanta Baptist Church, Martin Luther King Jr. said these words to a wide audience:
“Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world.”
Although this speech was given over half a century ago, the words are equally relevant today.
What do you think it's about?
Sam wakes up in the morning and puts on cotton clothes and then walks down for breakfast. Mam puts flowers in a vase and then boils a kettle before making black coffee with two spoonfuls of sugar. Dad prepares breakfast for everyone in the house. Mam has honey on toast, Dad drinks a cup of tea and Sam has pancakes with banana and chocolate.
How many products can you see here that you can buy and support the Fairtrade campaign?
Sugar. We all probably have a bag of sugar in our kitchen! Sugar is very popular because it is sweet. People like to put sugar in tea or coffee, or on a pancake. It can also be used in cakes. But do you know where sugar comes from?
Sugar grows in the form of canes that are very similar to bamboo. Around 80% of the world's sugar comes from sugar cane similar to those pictured. They can grow very high. Can you guess how high they grow?
Some can grow up to 20 feet tall in tropical countries!
Farmers can harvest the sugar 12-18 months after planting. Harvesting requires a sharp blade as the canes are very strong, cutting them close to the ground and then removing the leaves.
Before Fairtrade, sugar farmers did not receive fair pay for their produce. Sugar is very valuable to some countries and much of the income of these countries comes from exporting sugar but the farmers weren't getting enough money. Today over 62,700 sugar farmers are part of Fairtrade.
23 Pant y Twyn
Dear Miss Parry,
We are writing to persuade you to buy Fairtrade products for school. We have noticed that there is no Fairtrade logo on the bananas in the fruit tuck shop at playtime. Without a doubt, this is disappointing.
Fairtrade is a worthwhile campaign that offers fair opportunities to the farmers who gather the produce. Shouldn't everyone in the world have equal opportunities?
We strongly believe that Fairtrade products should be included in the fruit tuck shop and should be used when cooking our tasty school lunches. Supporting the Fairtrade campaign definitely ensures fair opportunities for farmers across the world. Certainly, without this campaign the workers do not receive enough money for a high standard of living and they are suffering because of this.
We believe that, without question, all children should receive an education such as the excellent education we receive here at Ysgol Ger y Môr. By supporting Fairtrade, we as a school can certainly contribute to realising parents' dream of being able to afford to send their children to school.
We hope to hear from you soon,
Osian and Eila
Banana - From farm to fork
First you need to plant seeds and wait about 9 months for the trees to grow.
To harvest the bananas you need to climb a ladder to reach them as they grow high in the tree.
The bananas then need to be carried to the processing station. This must be done carefully as they are very heavy.
At the processing station the bananas are inspected and the workers then place Fairtrade stickers on them. Then it's time to pack them in boxes.
The bananas then travel to port before being inspected again. They arrive in Britain by travelling by sea and are kept at low temperatures to ensure they do not ripen too early.
They tend to mature between the port and reaching the shop. And there we are, that's how the little seed changes into a tasty yellow banana!