Fairtrade Fortnight across Cheshire West and Chester was a ‘huge success’, according to organisers.
The Take a Fairtrade Break theme saw education body CDEC, on behalf of the Cheshire West and Chester Fairtrade steering group, promoting a Fairtrade Stories project.
This highlighted the stories of the seven producers/farmers who have visited the area since 2002 using pull-up banners.
Rijayatu, a Ghanaian cocoa farmer’s daughter who was just 14 when she came to Chester then, emphasised just how important Fairtrade is.
She said: “It has changed my life and that of my family. I am married and I have a three-year-old son. I could never be happier. My family and I owe it to Fairtrade.”
The project involved five primary schools: Rossmore in Ellesmere Port, Ashton Hayes, Tilston, The Grange and Mickle Trafford.
Each school had a whole school assembly to introduce Fairtrade with four sessions for key stage 2 classes during the course of the day starting with a Fairtrade alphabet activity.
Each group looked for key words from the seven Fairtrade stories exhibition banners spending a few minutes at each banner.
After reviewing and discussing what they had found the children had time to try several other activities including placing products on their country of origin on a world map.
Most schools also invited parents in to see the exhibition and provided Fairtrade refreshments.
At Ashton Hayes, Christy Bryan, global week co-ordinator, said: “It was a great day, both staff and children thoroughly enjoyed it and got a lot out of it.”
Elsewhere Chester MP Chris Matheson (Lab) visited Cherry Grove Primary School to watch an assembly about Fairtrade.
The school also hosted a Fairtrade breakfast which was well attended by children and parents.
A Fairtrade Funday at Grosvenor Park saw more than 100 people visiting an activity zone with the banners on display and the Co-op donating samples of products for the public to taste.
Waitrose in Chester had a Fairtrade Day where they had a special display and tastings throughout the store.
They also hosted a visit from 36 Year 3 pupils from Cherry Grove Primary.
Retail department manager Andrew Lloyd–Williams said: “Fairtrade Fortnight has been a great opportunity for us to educate our partners and the local community about our increasing range of Fairtrade products and the importance of treating our suppliers and farmers fairly.”
The youngsters from Cherry Grove enjoyed the opportunity with the school thanking the store ‘for organising such an informative and interesting visit’.
“The children have come back really enthused and with a greater understanding of Fairtrade,” it added.
“It has been a jam-packed Fairtrade Fortnight and so encouraging that children and their parents really care about the producers and farmers and understand the value of Fairtrade,” said CDEC director Heather Swainston. “Thank you to everyone who has been involved.”
The Cheshire West and Chester steering group says there will be further Fairtrade promotions and events throughout the year.