A Year 8 class follow the journey of a banana

A Year 8 class explore issues of trade and fair trade by using Oxfam’s ‘Go Bananas’ pack.


Year 8 classes at a Sheffield school learnt about world trade issues in the run up to Fair Trade Fortnight (the first two weeks of March) each year. The Citizenship teacher used Oxfam’s Go Bananas photo-pack to introduce the journey of a banana from a farm in the Caribbean to a fruit shop in the UK.

Taking account of the work and expenses involved, they guessed how much of the 20p they spend on an ordinary banana goes to the grower, the banana company, the ripener/distributer and the retailer. They then learnt the true amount each group receives. They also watched a video for background information. The teacher then provided a fair trade banana to illustrate how the trade can be organised so that a greater share of the money goes to the grower.

Following the curriculum work, they decided to design posters to promote fair trade chocolate and bananas and to sell them in school. (Over £500 worth was sold.) The children and young people visited their local supermarket to audit how many fair trade items were on sale. Whilst the store claimed to stock 60 items, they were only able to find 33 – often not well displayed. They wrote letters, which have resulted in improvements (monitored by former pupils from the school who now work at the store…!).

This case study is taken from: Developing the Global Dimension in the School Curriculum, DfES et al, 2005.

Find out more

Teaching resources:

Fairtrade Fortnight: Further details about Fairtrade Fortnight and other global days and weeks can be found on our Calendar.

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