Thousands of dedicated schools across the UK learn about Fairtrade every year, helping to raise awareness of the issues of unfair trade.
The Fairtrade Schools website offers schools a library of free education resources to support global learning on the topics of trade, climate justice, globalisation, ethical consumption, and sustainability.
The Fairtrade School Award is a free award programme for primary and secondary schools across the UK.
Schools across the UK can gain recognition for learning about global issues with a Fairtrade School Award. The award is a free programme that supports young people to learn that – whatever their age – they have the power to make a difference in the world.
There are three levels of Fairtrade School Award – starting at FairAware, progressing to FairActive and finally FairAchiever.
This progressive award structure allows schools to fully engage pupils, staff and the wider community in Fairtrade and embed global citizenship across the life of the school.
Our Fairtrade Teaching Resources Library contains a wide range of global learning resources to support global learning on the award programme, with materials available on the topics of trade, climate, globalisation, ethical consumption and sustainability.
Learning about Fairtrade, and joining the Fairtrade School Award programme, will complement other global learning initiatives in your school.
Many schools on the Fairtrade School Award programme are also enrolled on UNICEF’s Rights Respecting School Award and Eco-Schools. Fairtrade is a rich context to explore human rights and environmental justice, and we encourage you to promote your involvement in all global learning programmes with pride!
The benefits of learning through Fairtrade
Joining the Fairtrade Schools movement has numerous benefits for pupils, staff and the wider community – both locally and globally.
Knowledge and skills
Young people today are growing up in a truly globalised world. Having experienced the realities of a global pandemic, a changing global climate or the impacts of supply chain issues over the past 18 months, it is more important than ever that pupils are equipped with the knowledge and skills to make sense of our complex and interconnected global society.
Learning about how we are connected to people and places around the world through our consumption encourages pupils to develop values such as respect, compassion, a sense of fairness and an understanding of justice.
Fairtrade is a topic that lends itself to pupil-centred approaches, where children can explore issues, develop critical thinking skills and explore new ways of taking action for a more just world.
Joining the Fairtrade movement has a positive ripple effect beyond the classroom walls. The Fairtrade School Award programme encourages active engagement with families, the local community and local businneses.
Make a difference
But most importantly, championing Fairtrade at your school means standing with farmers for fairness and equality, against some of the biggest challenges the world faces. By encouraging your pupils to explore the power of their actions, schools can play a huge part in the collective fight for a more just and compassionate world.
Fairtrade provides a rich context for global learning across a broad range of curricular areas in primary and secondary schools UK-wide. Learning about Fairtrade meets a range of outcomes in the National Curriculum for England, particularly in the subjects of geography, citizenship, design and technology and PSHE.
Within the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland, Fairtrade provides a focus to embed learning about the world and Scotland’s place in it, including learning for sustainability. Read more about how Fairtrade links with relevant Experiences and Outcomes in the Scottish Curriculum, from the early to the fourth level.
Teaching young people about global issues through Fairtrade meets the criteria of the curriculum for Wales and one of its four purposes to support learners to become ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world.
Teaching about Fairtrade can start at any age or stage of a child’s learning journey.
At the nursery level, young children can start thinking about where some of their favourite foods come from. Using resources such as our ‘C is for Cocoa Activity Pack’ and ‘Pablo the Banana’ are a brilliant place to start.
For pupils in primary school, learning about Fairtrade provides an opening to learning about our interdependent world, where our food comes from and fair trade as a concept.Fairtrade lends itself well to interdisciplinary, topic-based learning which is student-led and develops pupil agency.
For secondary schools, Fairtrade can be a useful starting point for issues such as war and conflict, the role of multinational companies and the notion of justice. The topic provides the opportunity to explore the relationship between power in a value chain and the relationship each person in it gets from it.
Young people are at a pivotal time in their lives for forming their values and shaping their future habits. Beyond primary and secondary school, young people can get involved in Youth for Fairtrade, or the Fairtrade University and College Award programme if progressing to further or higher education.
Our short films provide a great introduction to Fairtrade and can be used with all ages – from primary schools right through to adults in community groups.
The Fairtrade Foundation website has a wealth of information to explain what Fairtrade is, what Fairtrade does and where we work.
There are a number of fantastic organisations who provide Teacher Training sessions to support you with Global Learning. Check out this page for updates.
Meet the Team
The Fairtrade Schools Team can be contacted at email@example.com. We're here to help!
Joanna Milis - Education Campaigns Manager
Jo's favourite Fairtrade product is the Forest of Hope milk chocolate surprise egg, made with cocoa from the Gola Rainforest in Sierra Leone. The cocoa is produced by the Ngoleagorbu Cocoa Farmer’s Union – a co-operative of Fairtrade farmers who grow their cocoa in harmony with the rainforest.
Claire Arnott - Senior Education Campaigns Officer
Fairtrade sunflowers are Claire's favourite Fairtrade product. Fairtrade works with flowers workers in Kenya, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Uganda and Tanzania. Fairtrade certified farms receive a premium of 10% for every stem sold, which allows workers to invest in healthcare, education and other social benefits.
Sarah Hazlehurst - Campaigns Coordinator
Sarah's favourite Fairtrade product is something she has on her cereal every day.. it’s the Fairtrade banana! 90% of all Fairtrade bananas come from Latin America and the Caribbean. There are currently 173 Fairtrade certified banana organisations, representing 25,000 farmers and workers in 18 countries