With the government currently calling for greater transparency and accountability within supply chains, Jenny Willott MP, and the former Business Minister, met recently with children from Barlows Primary School in Liverpool to hear their views on Fairtarde and global issues. Barlows’ teacher Nicole Kattou talks in more detail about the benefits of introducing children in to Fairtrade.
Barlows Primary School achieved the Fairtrade School status 12 years ago, after incorporating Fairtrade into the curriculum and showing their commitment to learning about trade across the globe. By visiting our school, Mrs Willott recognised our long-standing commitment to Fairtrade, and also inspired our children to continue their enthusiasm and interest in trade justice.
Jenny Willott, who at the time of the visit was the Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “Having previously worked for charities and organisations overseas, I’ve seen first hand the difference Fairtrade can make. Key to this is making sure that young people, as the shoppers of tomorrow, understand the importance of Fairtrade practices and see how their decisions in what they buy really can make a difference.
The Minister met the school’s Fairtrade Committee, which consists of representatives from Year 1 to Year 6, who told her about our activities and plans to promote Fairtrade within the school and the wider community.
The children talked passionately about the many projects they run across the school such as Fairtrade Cafés, Fairtrade Bake-Offs, school trips to the Co-operative supermarket, as well as creative competitions. They explained how Fairtrade farmers cultivate and sell their produce, giving an example of for Fairtarde banana farmers in St Lucia.
I like Fairtrade because we are helping other people across the world.
Ms Willott was impressed by the children’s awareness of global issues – and all the more by their understanding of Fairtrade, and how it can tackle poverty in developing countries. In our school the teaching staff incorporate Fairtrade into a number of subjects, such as such as Geography and P4C (Philosophy for Children) to profound the knowledge and learning for the children. By learning about issues such as global trade and how we can work together, to make it fairer, children get a better understanding of their own community and the world around them.
Above all, Ms Willott recognised how hard we work to link Fairtrade to our other pupil voice committees. This is especially important. At Barlows, pupil voice plays an integral part throughout the curriculum and we believe it is vital to children’s development. We think all pupils should have as many opportunities as possible to gain a better understanding of their role in the wider community, and learn that they too can make a difference in the world.
The Minister’s visit was a real boost for our children and an affirmation that all their commitment and awareness raising activities are valued beyond the school grounds. Through expressing their enthusiasm and awareness of global issues around the world, they re-enforced the school’s Eco motto: It’s not about one person doing everything, but everyone doing something