19th February 2018

Five ways to teach about Fairtrade cocoa – and a chocolate competition!

Fairtrade Fortnight (26 Feb-11 Mar) is fast approaching and what better way to celebrate than with chocolate and our Pa Pa Paa education resources!

We called them ‘Pa Pa Paa’ because it’s the motto of the cocoa cooperative that we work with in Ghana. It means ‘best of the best’ in the Twi language.

To help you get started, here are our top picks for Fairtrade Fortnight:

1. Lesson plan - Trade: A fair deal?

Compare the lives of ordinary cocoa farmers and members of the Kuapa Kokoo Fairtrade cooperative in this lively and thought-provoking lesson. Can be used in PSHE, Geography or for spoken language in English.

View the Key Stage Two lesson plan

19th February 2018

Six ways to teach about Fairtrade cocoa – and a chocolate competition!

Fairtrade Fortnight (26 Feb-11 Mar) is fast approaching and what better way to celebrate than with chocolate and our Pa Pa Paa education resources!

We called them ‘Pa Pa Paa’ because it’s the motto of the cocoa cooperative that we work with in Ghana. It means ‘best of the best’ in the Twi language.

To help you get started, here are our top picks for Fairtrade Fortnight:

1. 'Come on in' to a bar of chocolate

Our new Pa Pa Paa LIVE video invites you and your class inside a bar of chocolate. In this short video, Latif and his friends takes you on a tour of a cocoa farm while Roxy from Divine explains why Fairtrade is so important for the future of cocoa farming.

Watch our new video

22nd January 2018

Fairtrade Fortnight is coming!

Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 runs from 26th February to 11th March.

This year the theme is 'come on in' - an invitation to join the movement and find out more about the farmers and workers who grow our food.

Check out our Pa Pa Paa LIVE website and 'come on in' to the lives of young people from cocoa growing communities in Ghana. They have made short videos about their everyday lives. A child's eye view of life in a developing country.

Pa Pa Paa LIVE

13th December 2016

The blossoming Fairtrade fruit sector in Ghana

Campaigning NGO Banana Link, as part of the Europe-wide Make Bananas Fair campaign, recently visited several Fairtrade banana and pineapple plantations in Ghana.

They wrote an interesting blog about the visit and it was covered by Joanna Blythman in a fascinating article for The Grocer.

Worker at Gold Coast Fruits. Photo: James Robinson Photography.

This heartening story shows how the combination of Fairtrade certification, empowered and organised independent trade unions - and, increasingly, organic production - can really transform the environmental and social prospects for fruit plantations.

5th December 2016

As Cadbury walks away from Fairtrade: what next for campaigners?

In mid-November, a joint press release declared a new “global partnership” between Fairtrade and Cadbury, the brand owned by global snack company Mondelēz International.

They announced that Cadbury Dairy Milk will no longer be Fairtrade certified. Instead, all Cadbury products will be brought under Mondelēz International’s in-house sustainability programme, ‘Cocoa Life’. The Fairtrade logo will be replaced with the Cocoa Life logo, and Fairtrade will become an implementing partner for Cocoa Life, with this partnership being indicated on the back of pack.

It has been seven years since Cadbury Dairy Milk became Fairtrade certified in the UK. It was a pivotal moment – perhaps the pivotal moment – in the ‘mainstreaming’ of Fairtrade in this country. At a stroke, 350 million chocolate bars a year were certified, bringing the Fairtrade Mark into every corner shop in the country.

Fairtrade campaigners celebrated and the future looked promising, with Cadbury chief executive Todd Stitzer saying that he planned to convert their other chocolate brands to Fairtrade "as soon as we can do it". It felt like perhaps Cadbury had re-engaged with its progressive Quaker roots, bringing a new 21st century ethics into the heart of its business model.

A year later, the company was the subject of a hostile and controversial takeover by US multinational Kraft, though not before they had converted the Green & Blacks range owned by Cadbury to Fairtrade. Although Kraft promised to honour Cadbury's Fairtrade commitments, it was clear that there would be no further expansion of Fairtrade certification as had previously been hoped. In 2012, Kraft split into two companies, and Cadbury became a brand owned by a new multinational food company called Mondelēz International.

The new joint announcement from Cadbury and Fairtrade unsurprisingly describes the new deal in glowing terms as a “ground-breaking commitment” and an “evolution of our partnership”. But for Fairtrade campaigners, it is mixed news at best.

17th November 2016

Fairtrade cocoa price and premium review

There's an interesting short interview over on Confectionery News with Oliver Nieburg. He talks to Marina Vanin, global cocoa director at Fairtrade International, about their plans to review the pricing and strategy for Fairtrade cocoa. Fairtrade International is conducting a study in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire to inform the review.

Oliver points out that Barry Parkin, head of procurement for Mars and chair of the World Cocoa Foundation, has said that cocoa incomes may need to quadruple to make cocoa sustainable. Marina is cautious and does not say whether the Fairtrade price and premium will rise after the review.

29th August 2014

Taking Fairtrade teaching out of the classroom

There was an interesting piece in the Guardian profiling a school campaign to make sure the bananas supplied through the government's school fruit scheme were Fairtrade.

The headteacher at Polesden Lacey Infant School encouraged pupils to explore the Fairtrade movement as part of the school's commitment to green issues. She helped the children write a letter to the school's fruit suppliers.

The company replied in May, directing them to the banana supplier, who in turn passed them to the Department of Health. Eventually they were informed that schools could not put a label on the fruit because "Fairtrade" was a brand name. The children were not impressed – without the Fairtrade stamp they felt unsure about the fruit.

29th January 2014

What will be the impact of Fairtrade Sourcing Programs?

There has been much talk in Fairtrade over the last few years about “scaling up with integrity” or “mainstreaming” – i.e. growing the Fairtrade system by working with big corporate players while also ensuring that the core values and social, economic and environmental standards of Fairtrade are not compromised.

Although there have been some original principles that have fallen by the wayside – the basic Fairtrade proposition has remained the same. It is a product-based certification system, in which all ingredients in a product that can be Fairtrade must be Fairtrade, with guaranteed prices for producers, including a minimum price, a Fairtrade premium and an organic premium, social and environmental standards, and obligations on traders and importers.

Despite the rise of numerous alternative certification systems, Fairtrade has mostly stuck to its guns and kept the same model, arguably the gold standard of ethical certification marks. And a campaigner movement of activist consumers – particularly in the UK – has responded to that gold standard and voted with their wallets.

That now looks set to be shaken up, as Fairtrade International have launched a new business model that gives companies a wider and more flexible range of options for engaging with the Fairtrade system. The model is called ‘Fairtrade Sourcing Programs’ and currently applies to three commodities: cocoa, cotton and sugar.

17th January 2014

EU passes new rules on fair trade public procurement

This week, the EU passed a new public procurement directive that will allow public authorities across Europe to make a deliberate choice for fair trade products.

The new law confirms a European Court of Justice ruling which clarified that public contracts can award additional points to products "of fair trade origin".

Compliance with environmental, social and labour obligations are now enshrined in the principles of procurement law, which is a great step forwards.

The new public procurement directive is expected to enter into force in March 2014 and EU Member States will then have two years to translate it into national law.

The European Parliament's Fair Trade Working Group is chaired by British Labour MEP Linda McAvan.

15th November 2012

It's Social Enterprise Day

It's Social Enterprise Day today and we've produced a new Powerpoint presentation for teachers.

The presentation showcases social enterprise Liberation, a Fairtrade nut company owned by the farmers who grow and gather the nuts.

Download Liberation social enterprise presentation