SCHOOL council members at Burley and Woodhead Church of England Primary School are busy planning how they will mark Fairtrade Fortnight, which this year runs from February 27 to March 12.

To support their efforts, Karen Palframan, chairwoman of Bradford Fairtrade Zone, presented them with a Bala Fairtrade football. The children were very interested to discover that Fairtrade footballs exist, and to learn more about how Fairtrade helps to ensure the workers who hand-stitch the footballs in Sialkot, Pakistan, are paid a fair wage, have safe working conditions and that there is no child labour.

They also learned about some of the projects that the Bala workers have spent their Fairtrade premium funds on, which include eye tests and two community water filtration plants.

The children also looked at a new Fairtrade Foundation football resource for schools, which explains how footballs are made in Sialkot where 70 per cent of the world’s hand-stitched footballs are produced. They have decided to organise an assembly about Fairtrade footballs and will use this activity to help the school become a Fairtrade school.

The Fairtrade school scheme is run by the Fairtrade Foundation and helps young people look at global issues and learn that they have the power to make a difference in the world. The school began its Fairtrade journey last year, and was awarded ‘FairAware’ school status in January.

Mrs Palframan was delighted to learn that the staffroom had converted its tea and coffee to Fairtrade. She said: “This is a great example of a simple step we can all take to ensure the farmers and workers who produce so much of what we enjoy, including footballs, are paid fairly.

“Millions of farmers live in poverty. For example, in Kenya’s coffee and tea-growing regions, one in three people live in poverty, while tea pickers in Malawi earn less than £1.46 a day.

“This is not enough to provide decent food, education or healthcare for their families or invest in better farming.

“When we reach for the cheapest products, we may be unconsciously feeding exploitation.

“We become part of the problem, but we can make a conscious choice to be part of the solution and support trade that is fair.”

This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight theme is ‘Put Fairtrade in your break’.

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