Fairtrade fun lessons to learn

Fairtrade Fortnight, February 22-March 7, is a great opportunity for children to learn about and celebrate the people who grow so much of our food.

This year, the focus is on the climate emergency and how it impacts on producers in the developing world.

Former primary school teacher Laura Steele, of education experts PlanBee, has devised games to make it lots of fun.

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Fair Trade is when companies in developed countries pay a fair price for products that have been made by producers in developing countries.

A ‘fair price’ means that the producers are paid enough to be able to afford essentials like food, education and healthcare.

It started in 1992 and is a global movement made up of producers, companies, consumers and organisations, whose aim is to support farmers and workers in the developing world by giving them a voice, and helping them to stand up for their rights.

Some 1.7 million farmers and workers are in fair trade-certified producer organisations across 73 countries.

Look out for the label to tell if a product is fair trade.

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In the UK, there are over 4,500 fair trade certified products available for sale, from food and drink to homeware and fashion.

Learning and talking about the fair trade Movement, and why it is needed, can lead to a better understanding of the wider world.

Anyone looking for a child-friendly introduction to the topic of fair trade, can check out PlanBee’s Fair Trade Facts for Kids blog.

Providing fun and engaging activities to help children learn about fair trade will make the lesson memorable. Here are two easy fair trade games to play with children.

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A tall story - Explain to children they will be paid in building blocks for completing a task. Set them a simple task – for example, to draw a picture or jump five times. When the task is completed pay some children lots of blocks and the rest only a few blocks. Now ask the children to build a tower with their blocks and tell them the best tower will be the tallest tower. Is this fair? Why? How did the activity make them feel? You could repeat the activity a few times to show how quickly some children are left behind the others. Bring the activity back to fair trade and explain some farmers are not paid fairly for the crops they grow. Is this fair? How might it affect them and their families?

The price of justice - Challenge children to find out the price of fair trade and non-fair trade bananas in different shops. What is the difference in the average price of fair trade bananas compared to others? Encourage children to find out how the farmer benefits when we buy a fair trade banana. Debate if the extra cost to the consumer is worth it.

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