Going nuts for fair trade!

29 February 2016

Fairtrade Fortnight 2016 takes place from Monday 29 February and Sunday 13 March. It is swiftly followed by World Fairtrade Day on Monday 14 May.

Why teach about fair trade?

  • Through learning about fair trade products and producers, pupils can gain an understanding of where their food has come from and how it’s grown.
  • They can learn about basic needs and human rights, and discuss what it means for workers to be justly treated and get a decent wage and a fair price for their products.
  • They can discover how we are connected to the people who grow, harvest and sell different products around the world, and explore how what we buy has an impact all along the supply chain.

Liberation Nuts logoHelen Long has been a campaigner with responsibility for education at Liberation Foods CIC – the UK’s only Fairtrade and farmer-owned nut company. Liberation brings together peanut farmers from Malawi and Nicaragua, cashew farmers from India and El Salvador and Brazil nut gatherers from the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia and Peru.

In this guest blog, Helen offers you the chance to step away from bananas and explore her resources about the ‘nutty’ side of fair trade!

Click on the links for each resource to find out more and to download (you will need to be logged in to download).

Fairtrade Brazil Nut Ecology

Fairtrade Brazil Nut Ecology presentation

Curriculum links: suitable for Geography, Science and Environmental Studies at all Key Stages.

This was originally aimed at primary school children, but now I use it with adults as well (as you can see from the picture below). You can adapt your presentation to suit your audience.

The presentation explains how producer cooperatives gather Brazil nuts from the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia, at great personal risk (Brazil nut fruits are hard and heavy!) Learn why Brazil nut trees cannot be farmed, due to their dependence on rainforest animals; and later why producers believe it is so important to protect the rainforest. Explore the bigger picture of how the individual species in the rainforest interact at different scales, and how ecosystems in one part of the world affect others. And get a real idea of the immense size of a Brazil nut tree (50m high and 16.5m wide).

Using string to show the Bexhill Fairtrade Group the size of a Brazil nut tree!
Using string to show the Bexhill Fairtrade Group the size of a Brazil nut tree!

How do the nuts get to your home?

Fair and Funky conference Holmfirth
Pupils exploring these resources at a Fair and Funky Conference

How Fairtrade nuts are made activity

Curriculum links: suitable for Key Stage 1 & 2 Citizenship and Geography.

Pupils arrange each set of photos in order, to show the different stages of the value chain, and they discuss the lives of the people involved.

This activity gets pupils thinking logically about the steps in the process. They see photos of real people employed in nut harvesting and production, and they can imagine what their lives might be like.

Children just like you

Fair and Funky conference Holmfirth
Pupils exploring these resources at a Fair and Funky Conference

Fairtrade nut producer’s ‘children like you’ pictures

Curriculum links: suitable for Key Stage 1 SMSC

These are pictures of children around the world engaging in recognisable everyday activities. Pupils develop empathy by discussing the similarities and differences with their own lives.

Fairtrade quiz

Curriculum links: suitable for Key Stages 3 & 4 Geography; A level Geography / Economics

Fairtrade food security quiz

Why is there so much food and yet so much hunger?! This is a short quiz I invented to occupy impatient parents when I ran craft activities with their children. So it’s most suitable for older students and adults, and can help them engage with statistics and news reports on trade and development.

Fairtrade and climate change

Fairtrade, nuts and climate change

Curriculum links: suitable for Key Stages 3 & 4 Geography, Chemistry, Biology; A level Geography / Environmental Studies

This presentation is for older pupils and explores the links between social and environmental justice. Learn how people in the global South are more adversely affected by climate change, and how Fairtrade has helped producer cooperatives combat its effects.

About Liberation Foods

Fairtrade nut company introduction presentation

Curriculum links: suitable for Key Stage 4 Business Studies; A level Geography / Economics

This presentation takes the form of answers to questions that were posed to me by the secondary aged students at Brighton Self-Managed Learning Centre. Their questions were rather in-depth. Luckily they were set in advance, so I had time to revise and find suitably in-depth answers!

Exploring the issues in this presentation can help students to go deeper into the impacts of trade and fair trade. For example: not just accepting something is ethical, but thinking about what this actually means for the company and the producer, and how exactly it is measured.

Fairtrade nut producer posters and leaflet

Learn more about Liberation Foods CIC, brighten up the classroom and kick-start discussions with these posters and leaflet featuring our nut farmers and gatherers.

Lancashire Fairtrade group school conference
Children at a Lancashire Fairtrade Conference wearing home-made rainforest animal masks.

More resources

Follow this link to our resources database for lots more resources on the topic of fair trade.

If you are registered as a school co-ordinator for the Global Learning Programme for England (GLP-E), you can download new Fairtrade Fortnight resources from the My GLP > Activities and Resources page (you need to be logged in to GLP-E to access these).

Do you have any recommendations for fair trade teaching resources? What are you planning for Fairtrade Fortnight? Let us know in the comments box below.

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