Children up for Fairtrade talks

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Children from 15 primary and secondary schools across Leeds will come together during Fairtrade Fortnight.

They will take part in an afternoon of workshops on Thursday at Leeds Civic Hall on the theme of ‘Take a Break for Fairtrade’.

The aim is to educate each other and their teachers about Fairtrade and how it is enabling farmers around the world to earn a fair wage and lead dignified lives.

The official opening will be at 1pm with speeches by the Lord Mayor of Leeds and Coun Lisa Mulherrin. It will be the seventh annual Fairtrade school celebration and it is supported by Leeds DEC and the city’s Fairtrade group.

During the event the children will run workshops involving child slavery in the cocoa trade, Fairtrade trivial pursuit, chocolate tasting and learning about the journey of the cocoa bean. Throughout the afternoon they will be thinking about effects of unfair trade and at 2pm will symbolically break a giant paper chain covered in words relating to exploitation.

For some of the participants this will be this first time they have organised peer-education activities. Others, who enjoyed it so much last year, are taking part again.

Poppy Fletcher, aged eight, from Ireland Wood Primary said: “It’s really exciting to run a workshop at the Civic Hall and to work with other children.”

Fairtrade Fortnight occurs in February and March every year. People all over the UK raise awareness about the positive difference it makes. Leeds is a Fairtrade City and many organisations and businesses support Fairtrade. More widely, Yorkshire led the way to become the UK’s first Fairtrade Region in January 2013.

Ian Watkins

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