Fairtrade: Session 2

Following on from last week’s fair trade lesson, Rowan class started off with a quick recap of the previous week’s learning, in particular a renewed discussion over how much people should be paid for the process of growing and selling bananas. The children decided to write their thoughts. Here are three of the children’s arguments:

After the children had completed their writing, we repeated the previous exercise when the children had to sell their bananas to Mr Stanley in his role as representative of the Big Banana Company. However, this time some of the children were given fair trade tokens. When Mr Stanley came to buy their bananas he gave each of these pupils 8 tokens instead of the two which he gave to the rest of the class.

This then led to a discussion on what Fairtrade means to the growers and the children completed an exercise on the difference between a banana and a fair trade banana.

The children came to the following results:

For a fairtrade banana

  • My workers have better homes and better education
  • My farmer has a guaranteed contract
  • My workers spent many hours looking after me
  • My workers are members of a co-op. They can make their own decisions.
  • My farmer doesn’t use dangerous chemicals on the banana plants.

For a non fairtrade banana

  • My workers have poor housing, poor education and poor health
  • My workers have no union and no say in how their lives go
  • My workers had to work 12 hours a day, six days a week
  • My workers could lose their jobs anytime
  • My workers used dangerous chemicals to kill any pest which might damage the banana plants.

We finished the session by discussing what fairtrade means and came to the conclusion that fair trade allows the farmers and growers to obtain a fair price for the work they carry out in producing many of our staple foods. It also stops big companies driving down prices at the expense of the growers just so we can have cheap food

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