News & Events
Students back Fairtrade
- Posted by: pembscollegesuperadmin
As part of Pembrokeshire College’s Fairtrade Fortnight activities, students were joined last week by representatives from the Fairtrade Foundation and a banana farmer from the Caribbean island of St Lucia.
Running from 25 February to 10 March, Fairtrade Fortnight is an annual campaign aimed at raising awareness of Fairtrade products and urging people to buy products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark. Focusing on better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world, students from curriculum areas across the College came together to hear Sandra Joseph talk about how she and her family have benefitted from becoming Fairtrade farmers. Producing bananas – the world’s most popular and profitable fruit – for Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, Sandra employs 7 people on her farm in St Lucia.
During the session students learnt how becoming a Fairtrade farmer has made a huge difference to Sandra’s life and that of the people who work for her. With smallholders in developing countries often susceptible to fluctuating commodity prices affecting their income, by becoming Fairtrade, Sandra now secures a minimum price for her bananas. Being a Fairtrade supplier also secures Sandra a price premium which goes directly to the St Lucia collective which they then decide how best to spend, in previous years this money has been used to build and an IT Centre and allow sick people within the community to pay for treatment.
Currently over 4,600 products in the UK are Fairtrade with this number constantly increasing as consumers put pressure on supermarkets to be socially responsible and ethical in sourcing their products. In addition, with 70% of the food eaten in the UK coming directly from smallholder farmers, Fairtrade has the potential to make a huge impact on a significant number of lives across the globe.
Chris Urack, course tutor for ESDCG at the College, invited the Fairtrade Foundation to visit the College and commented: “Bringing farmers into the College to talk directly to students about their experiences and their lives makes it much more real and shows that Fairtrade is working. It makes such a difference to the students understanding of a subject if they are able to talk directly to someone from a different country who is actually experiencing and benefiting from the project.”
Before leaving, the Fairtrade representatives urged students to consider how their daily choices can impact on the world and other people and how without our support now, farmers in developing countries face a difficult and uncertain future.