SCHOOL. Action Guide. Fair Trade SCHOOL program

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1 SCHOOL Action Guide Fair Trade SCHOOL program

2 Table of Contents 1.0 About this guide Acknowledgements Additional information Fair Trade School Two options for participation Why fair trade? Why schools? Why Fairtrade certification? Requirements : Fair Trade School Steering Committee : Classroom Learning : Ensure Product Availability : Visibility and Engagement Working toward designation...11 Step 1: Review online resources...11 Step 2: Get in touch...11 Step 3: Plan your campaign...12 Step 4: Get it done!...12 Step 5: Application...12 Step 6: Post-designation...12

3 1.0 About this guide This guide provides information about the Fair Trade School program, including requirements to achieve designation, how to apply, and how to plan for post-designation. The Fair Trade Schoolv is a program of Fairtrade Canada, managed in partnership with the Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN) and the Association québécoise du commerce équitable (AQCÉ). Fairtrade Canada is a national, nonprofit fair trade certification organization and the only Canadian member of Fairtrade International. In collaboration with its sister organizations around the world, it manages the internationally renowned and respected Fairtrade system. fairtrade.ca The CFTN is a non-profit organization that works with civil society and industry stakeholders to advance awareness and support for fair trade in Canada. It supports collaboration and best practices within the fair trade movement to increase Canadian commitments to international social responsibility. cftn.ca The AQCÉ is a non-profit organization with the goal to support its members that implement the fair trade values and principals in the province of Québec. assoquebecequitable.org 1.1 Acknowledgements The Fair Trade School program would not be possible without the support of community partners across Canada. 1.2 Additional information The CFTN works with prospective and existing Fair Trade Schools in meeting the requirements for the Fair Trade School program. Contact the CFTN at or AQCÉ at with any questions regarding the program, planning a local campaign, or additional advice and support. Additional resources and template forms can be found at cftn.ca/fair-trade-school-program Application Form Making Connections Lesson Plans and Unit Project Renewal Form Fair Trade School designations are awarded based on a joint review by Fairtrade Canada, the CFTN and AQCÉ. Applications should be sent to or and FAIR TRADE SCHOOL ACTION GUIDE 1

4 2.0 Fair Trade School The Fair Trade School program recognizes schools demonstrating strong commitment to fair trade among its administration, teachers, and students. It has a long-term vision for awareness and support of fair trade, and has been designed to provide resources to suit a range of educational goals. 2.1 Two options for participation Classroom Learning At its core, the Fair Trade School program is about education. The learning resources provided in the Making Connections Unit Plan can be used as individual, stand-alone lessons or as a full unit. Included lecture materials and student-focused activities introduce key themes related to fair trade and global social justice issues, while the Making Connections Unit Project encourages students to research social issues related to an everyday product and to evaluate how fair trade can offer a valuable means to empowerment. Additional engagement activities can be used by student groups or anyone else looking to spread awareness. For more information on learning resources and additional activities, visit cftn.ca/fair-tradeschool-program Engagement and Designation For schools looking to take the next step in education and awareness, the Fair Trade School program offers special recognition to schools demonstrating a concerted, long-term effort to support awareness and demand for fair trade products. Designations have been modelled after the Fair Trade Town and Campus programs that have been successful in growing the fair trade movement in Canada. 2.2 Why fair trade? Farmers and workers in developing countries who grow or make many of the products we buy are often in the weakest position to ensure their earnings are enough to meet their needs. When the prices or wages they receive aren t enough, they are forced to make sacrifices that trap them and their communities in a cycle of poverty. This can happen even when the prices we pay are high, and it translates into insecure livelihoods, environmental degradation, and insufficient access to basic health and social services. In extreme cases it can lead to child labour, human trafficking, and other human rights abuses. Fair trade seeks to address this by making the principles of fairness and decency mean something in the marketplace, largely by providing valuable information that helps us to make purchasing decisions that match our values. Buying Fairtrade certified products helps to ensure some of the most disadvantaged producers in the world have access to global markets, creating the means for long-term investment in environmental and labour standards and community development. 2 FAIR TRADE SCHOOL ACTION GUIDE

5 2.3 Why schools? Our education system offers the most comprehensive approach to educating the next generation of thought leaders in international social sustainability. It s important that the students of today learn how to effectively participate in our global community, as they ll be the ones to shape the future of our world. We re connected to many different people and cultures through the products we buy. Understanding more about the origins of everyday products helps build a richer understanding of the world we live in. For students and teachers, fair trade can provide a valuable framework for exploring sustainability issues that affect us all. 2.4 Why Fairtrade certification? With so many claims to fairness and sustainability in the marketplace, third-party verification is an invaluable tool to ensure purchases actually do connect with these values. The Fairtrade Mark represents the best known and most respected ethical certification system for social sustainability issues. It provides an easy and reliable way to know that products have met credible standards that are set and monitored following best practices, public input, and regular audits. The Fairtrade system is also co-owned by the very farmers and workers meant to benefit from it. This provides an additional level of assurance that the system will continue to have the positive impact it was designed to have. Because of these high standards, and on the recommendation of civil society representatives, only products certified under the Fairtrade system are considered toward meeting Fair Trade School requirements. Fairtrade certified products CArry this Mark Designation not certification Fair Trade School is a designation that acknowledges the leadership and commitments of Canadian schools. Only products and producers can be certified Fairtrade. FAIR TRADE SCHOOL ACTION GUIDE 3

6 3.0 Requirements The Fair Trade School designation is awarded to schools that meet all criteria within 4 requirements: 3.1: Fair Trade School Steering Committee 3.2: Classroom Instruction 3.3: Public Communication and Events 3.4: Product Availability 4 FAIR TRADE SCHOOL ACTION GUIDE

7 3.1: Fair Trade School Steering Committee A Fair Trade School Steering Committee must be formed to ensure continued commitment to the local Fair Trade School designation. The committee must commit to the following: Committee must include one (1) administrator, one (1) teacher, and a student group with two or more (2+) members. The Fair Trade Committee will be responsible for meeting the criteria for Fair Trade designation, including completing and submitting an application form. A Fair Trade Committee must meet as a whole at least twice per year to plan and evaluate its Fair Trade designation. A smaller representation of the committee should meet more frequently to carry out committee responsibilities. What it s about Bringing together a group of engaged and knowledgeable members from a school s community will help ensure that the goals of the Fair Trade School program are incorporated into school activities throughout the school year and for years to come. A Fair Trade Steering Committee will be comprised of both administrative staff and students. Students will meet regularly to carry out daily operations, while the official steering committee is required to meet twice per year to review and set annual targets. Participation in the school s Fair Trade Committee should not be limited to staff and students. Parents and other community stakeholders can be part of the group to encourage participation and to help integrate the school s message to other parts of the community. Previously existing student groups There may already be groups that are active in promoting the ideals of the Fair Trade School program. Rather than form a new group, it may be easier to have an active group take on the role of the committee. FAIR TRADE SCHOOL ACTION GUIDE 5

8 3.2: Classroom learning A School must demonstrate fair trade has been incorporated into its classroom learning by: Providing the name and contact information for instructors teaching fair trade in their classroom Including a description of learning activities Including samples of student work (can be anonymous) Education is the primary goal of this program. Schools offer an excellent opportunity to encourage in-depth thought and critical engagement on issues related to fair trade. Many teachers may already be teaching fair trade in their classrooms and may not need further encouragement. To help ensure a high level of classroom engagement, be sure to review the Fair Trade School education materials included in the Making Connections unit plan at cftn.ca/fair-trade-school-program Making Connections: Fair Trade Unit Plan Making Connections introduces students to social justice issues and how they affect populations within our international community. Supported by teacher instruction and modelling, students identify global issues and conduct their own research to evaluate how fair trade can be a tool for supporting more resilient communities among some of the world s most disadvantaged populations. Detailed lesson plans and learning resources help educators: nurture ideas and opinions on what people need to live a safe, comfortable, and fulfilling life model diverse research strategies for learning about other countries and populations use international trade as a lens to connect students to the realities of disadvantaged populations around the world encourage rich evaluation of fair trade as tool for international social justice Unit plan resources include: adaptable lesson plans for grades 9 to 12 learner-focused classroom activities Powerpoint presentations on social justice issues and fair trade printable handouts case studies multi-stage research project with three culminating tasks 6 FAIR TRADE SCHOOL ACTION GUIDE

9 Making Connections lesson structure Introduction to Human Rights and Poverty Understanding human needs Where does our food come from? Making Connections Working with case studies, Making Connections encourages students to understand other parts of the world within the context of their personal life. Human Rights and Social Issues Lessons focus on providing students with the concepts for identifying and discussing social issues. Understanding supply chains Fair trade: Co-operative structures Fair Trade: Minimum Price and Labour Issues Children s rights Environmental sustainability Gender issues Principles of Fair Trade Lessons prepare students to discuss and evaluate fair trade. Fair trade advocacy in Canada Final project submission FAIR TRADE SCHOOL ACTION GUIDE 7

10 3.3: Ensure product availability At least two (2) Fairtrade certified products must be made available to both students and staff on a regular basis (approximately once per week throughout the school year). Demonstrating availability To demonstrate achievement of the Product Availability requirement, the Fair Trade Steering Committee will need to submit a list of locations selling fair trade products on school grounds, including the products being sold and how often contact information of the selling location (i.e. a store or cafeteria manager) Working with your cafeteria or school store The best way to bring fair trade products into your school is to work with your cafeteria and store managers. Many managers will be open to new product ideas for your school especially if it will benefit your school s image and community. In some cases, a store or cafeteria may be run by an external catering company and the products offered may depend on pre-existing contracts or purchasing policies. In these cases, it may be difficult to get your voice heard and it may be necessary to solicit support from your school s administration. It may be a matter of finding a way to revise a contract or existing purchasing policy. Fair trade products are becoming more available at cheaper prices. In any case, it s worthwhile to explore fair trade product options. Where school cafeterias and stores are not available, the Fair Trade Steering Committee will need to find an alternate means to supplying fair trade products to students and staff. A weekly snack or beverage table or booth, set up outside of classroom hours, can be a great way to get products into a school. Contact the CFTN at or AQCÉ at for recommendations on sourcing fair trade products. Beyond the requirements While not official requirements, schools are encouraged to adopt fair trade products in all facets of their school community, including staff rooms, student lunches, staff meetings, cooking classrooms, sports teams, and anywhere else applicable products might be available. Promoting at school locations When you ve identified that a business in your community offers Fairtrade certified products, see if they would be willing to help highlight the importance of fair trade within their business among employees and to potential customers. Often, businesses can offer great support in engaging and educating a community through communications and events. Fairtrade Canada offers free, in-store promotional materials, but getting businesses to use them often requires helpful guidance and support from local community members. Visit fairtrade.ca for more information. 8 FAIR TRADE SCHOOL ACTION GUIDE

11 FAIR TRADE SCHOOL ACTION GUIDE 9

12 3.4: Visibility and engagement A School must support ongoing communication and engagement to increase awareness of fair trade and Fairtrade certified products in its community: Host at least one (1) education or awareness event in school or in the surrounding community. Ensure the school s commitment to fair trade is visible among students and staff through public signage. Include information about fair trade on the school s website and in a school newsletter. Often, the best way to learn about an issue is to teach others. And for a school initiative, the most impactful are those that are taken on by the students themselves. The Communications and Engagement requirement encourages committee groups to take on advocacy roles to ensure a school s commitments are known among students, staff, and the broader school community. Events Education and awareness events can be held in school or in the broader community. They should aim to educate about fair trade and encourage the sale of fair trade products. When hosting an event, it s a good idea to invite other members from your community. Consider reaching out to local businesses or fair trade community groups. Fairtrade Canada, the CFTN, and AQCÉ host numerous campaigns throughout the year. Contact the CFTN at or AQCÉ at for information on upcoming campaigns and events. Visibility Fair trade signage should be placed in high-traffic areas where it can be seen by both students and staff on a regular basis. Outside of cafeterias or stores are prime locations, as they ll be closest to where products are sold. Fairtrade Canada offers free engagement and awareness content on their website. Visit Fairtrade.ca for more details. Media engagement Do you have some big news to share? A major event or campaign taking place? Consider contacting local media for coverage in newspapers, radio shows, or television broadcasts. NOTE: When applying for a school designation, school committees will be asked to demonstrate their communications and engagement by submitting action summaries and photos. See the Fair Trade School Application and Renewal forms for more details: cftn.ca/fair-trade-school-program 10 FAIR TRADE SCHOOL ACTION GUIDE

13 4.0 Working toward designation Step 1: Review online resources Familiarize yourself with the program and all available resources Decide whether the program is right for your school The Fair Trade School program is for both teachers and students. Online, you ll find the learning resources, school activity plans, and application forms for becoming a Fair Trade School. There are no prerequisites to Step 1, and anyone is welcome to reach out for more information. Step 2: Get in touch Send an to or to let us know that you re planning a Fair Trade School campaign in your community The CFTN or AQCÉ can offer a number of planning and engagement tools that may help during the initial stages of your campaign. We re keen to work with you in developing effective strategies within your school. FAIR TRADE SCHOOL ACTION GUIDE 11

14 Step 3: Plan your campaign Build your network Learn about fair trade Figure out what a successful campaign will look like in your school Asign tasks and target due dates Be sure to reach out to friends, like-minded clubs, teachers, administrators, and anyone else in your school community who might be interested in supporting your campaign. The Fair Trade School program offers learning resources for teachers, but there are many other fair trade resources available through the CFTN, AQCÉ, and Fairtrade Canada. Reach out to learn more about fair trade and how to stay up-to-date with current news. The Fair Trade School requirements have been designed to accommodate a range of schools. Not every school is the same, and each will need to determine how they can meet program requirements on their own terms. For any questions, contact the CFTN at or AQCÉ at Be sure to have a good idea of who will be doing what and when you hope to achieve each target by. This will be key to keeping your campaign on track and top-of-mind. Step 4: Get it done! Achieve all requirements to become a Fair Trade School Once you ve planned it all out, it s only a matter of hard work and persistance to achieve your goals. Carrying out a campaign can be difficult, and it will be important to review progress and goals on a regular basis. Be sure to have regular team meetings to keep everyone updated and to identify and address any issues that may arise. Step 5: Application Submit a Fair Trade School Application with supporting documentation to or and Once you ve achieved all of your proposed goals, it s time to submit a formal application. See the application template at cftn.ca/fair-trade-school-program Step 6: Post-designation Continue to engage your community Plan for renewal A Fair Trade School designation is more than a goal, it is the formal recognition of a long-term effort to grow awareness and support for fair trade. Be sure to keep track of your successes so that you re prepared to share them when it comes time to renew your designation. The recognition of your work makes a huge impact when it comes to showing demand for fair trade and influencing the purchasing decisions, both big and small, of others across Canada. 12 FAIR TRADE SCHOOL ACTION GUIDE

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16 SCHOOL cftn.ca/fair-trade-school-program

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