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Be an Agent for Change! Fairtrade Fortnight Conference Review

Everything we do has an impact – everything we wear, everything we eat, everything we use, is made by somebody somewhere. In our busy lives it is easy to forget about the people behind our products, but during Fairtrade Fortnight we are challenged to stop and think about farmers and producers around the world; and take action to make a difference to their lives and to their communities.


“Each year conference just gets better! Such a variety of activities to inspire and inform our students; giving them the tools to share knowledge back at school.” Teacher feedback 2019

It is with this in mind that fairandfunky hosts Fairtrade Conferences for both Primary and Secondary Schools during Fairtrade Fortnight – to give space for people to think about the people behind the products we use and the food we eat every day, to inspire students and teachers alike to ask questions about where our food comes from and to empower delegates with Fairtrade knowledge as they make consumer choices.


This year we worked with 210 delegates from 20 schools at 3 Fairtrade Conferences – each delegate took part in four innovative and creative workshops, from leading practitioners, each inspiring participants to take Fairtrade out of the conference and into their schools, homes and communities. From discovering the journey of chocolate to creating recycled paper frames as Fairtrade producers in the Philippines do; from writing tea inspired poetry to being an agent for change; from entering the world of co-operative business to asking ‘Who Made My Clothes?’ the workshops gave incredible insight into the lives of producers with real life stories and imagery.


“All activities enable us to learn and deepen our understanding about Fairtrade and help our school to progress towards Fair Achiever Award.” Teacher Feedback 2019

At The Creative Media and Studio School in Huddersfield we were also joined by a BRAND NEW SUMA LORRY! We all have a part to play in the supply chain of products – producers, wholesalers, consumers, supermarkets, companies – working with Suma Wholefoods enabled students to visualise their role and the impact their choices have. Thelma Walker MP also joined this conference and shared the work being done in Parliament by the Fairtrade APPG (to read about this year’s Fairtrade APPG celebration please click here) before presenting each school with a certificate.


The Mayor of Kirklees joined delegates at Honley High School and inspired all with her closing remarks (please click here to read her brilliant speech!). Her and her consort enjoyed a tour of the workshops from Central England Co-operative, Rose Condo, Trading Visions and fairandfunky; and was thrilled to see such enthusiasm and engagement from the students.


“Conference is a must in our school council’s calendar! Such a wide variety of informative, fun and interesting workshops to inspire us all.” Teacher feedback 2019

Over in Calderdale we were lucky enough to host our Conference at Halifax Minster – an important part of the community there for over 900 years! In Halifax, our work complements the Fairtrade Town campaign spearheaded by Holly Lynch MP. We’re delighted to work with so many schools in Halifax and that Holly was able to join us again for the 4th year running. A very special part of this conference was hearing all 60 delegates join together in a song composed with Sea Pie Parcel: “Be an agent for change!”


“A valuable learning experience for us all. We now have student experts to help educate others back at school.” Teacher feedback 2019

Because that is what we need to be: an agent for change. We are all connected; people and planet. It’s a fact that motivates fairandfunky every day, and during Fairtrade Fortnight the spotlight really is on each and every one of us to be the change and take a little step to change the world.


Thank you to Conference Champion Sponsors Suma Wholefoods and to Conference Partner Sponsors Allegro Optical, Kirklees Fairtrade and Social Progress; without whom the conferences would not be possible.


Thank you to Divine Chocolate, Central England Co-operative and The Co-op in Holmfirth for providing goody bag goodies!


Thank you to our workshop providers: Trading Visions, The Central England Co-operative, Rose Condo, Fair Grounds, and Sea Pie Parcel.



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