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What is Fair Trade?


What to do

Divide the Pioneers into groups of three or four. Give each a set of “Fair trade means…” cards. Explain that all the statements on the cards are true for products which have the Fairtrade mark. Ask each group to produce a diamond ranking of the cards – placing the one issue they consider most important at the top, and the one they think is least important at the bottom. The other cards are to be arranged in a diamond pattern in between in order of importance / unimportance.

Read Lameck’s story

“Hi, I’m Lameck, I live in Ghana, my dads a Cocoa farmer. He grows cocoa that is used to make chocolate that is sold in Britain. Nowadays I only help on the plantation from time to time as I’m at school most days. I’m learning to read and would love to become a doctor. When we get a little more money I’m going to get a new t-shirt and new trousers. I don’t mind helping on the plantation – but of course it’s more fun to play football!’’ Lameck’s dad, Francis explains, ‘It all changed when we joined the Kuapa Kokooo co-operative which sells cocoa to fair trade organisations. They pay us better – $250 extra for every tonne of beans above the market price. And the money we get doesn’t go below a certain level, however low the prices go on the world market. The extra is enough to buy soap or pay school fees, and we get a bonus at the end of the season. What’s more, we actually own a part of the company that sells the chocolate abroad, so we get a share in the final profits.”

Taste test

Now blindfold the Pioneers or get them to close their eyes while you give out small samples of each type of chocolate. Ask them to sample the different chocolate products.

  • What differences can they taste?
  • Which do they prefer? Why?

Discuss which is their favourite and list their reasons on a flip chart sheet. Has anyone thought of the working conditions of the producers? If they knew about this, would it influence their decision?

Give each Pioneer two pieces of scrap paper. Ask them to write ‘PROBLEM’ on one and ‘BENEFIT’ on the other. Read the information about the Kuapa Kokoo farmers, using a bar of Fairtrade chocolate as a visual aid! Ask the Pioneers to listen carefully, and hold up their appropriate card whenever they hear about a problem the farmers have to face, or about a benefit of fair trade.


  • Where are Fairtrade products from?
  • Why is supporting fair trade important?
  • Whom do Fairtrade products benefit?
  • How can we support fair trade?
  • What actions can we take locally to promote fair trade?

Tip: You may need to think about food allergies and dietary requirements when preparing the activity. Are there other foods you can try to learn more about.

Resources Required

Sets of “Fair trade means…” cards cut out and ready to give out; blindfolds; samples of chocolate to include at least two fairly traded varieties; flipchart paper; scrap paper; a copy of the Kuapa Kokoo farmers information sheet (below).


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