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An introduction to Fairtrade

Topic: An introduction to Fairtrade

Learning Outcomes

  • understand the basis of what fair trade means and the importance of being fair
  • realise how the cost of what you buy needs to be split between many people.



Teacher brings in one banana (normal) one banana with the fair trade sticker on. If real Banana not available, teacher to draw 2 pictures of bananas on board ( 1 with Fairtrade sticker). Teacher asks pairs to discuss what the difference is.Explore core Fairtrade logo showing examples of same in everyday lives i.e. coffee jars etc


Pair Work 10 mins


In pairs, students watch the banana tipping video.

Children to read through questions/T or F and write/tick the correct answers as they watch ( questions appendix)

Once watched, the teacher asks a pair to play the role of the teacher. This pair comes up to the front, read out the question and ask their fellow classmates what they think the answer is. Once all the questions have been read out, teacher clarifies any doubts or wrong answers.


Small Groups 15 mins

Teacher acts out being an unfair boss role-play with the children to illustrate the concept of Fair trade. Tell children to pretend to be the workers, working hard growing/ picking bananas. Children stand up and act this out. The teacher after sometime gets children to give her all the bananas. Then the teacher tells her workers that she is going to pay them €1 for the whole day of working. Children feel how unfair the teacher is being and are encouraged to discuss what would be fairer. This should spark a debate. Is this enough for you to get lunch and dinner? Am I being a fair boss? Explain that Fair trade was set up to make sure the workers, like they were, have enough money for themselves and their children to survive. Do the Children think this is important? Why? Children also are told/shown what Fairtrade products there are and how to spot them. Role-play could also consist of students being assigned roles according to banana split sheet (banana worker/ plantation owner etc) (appendix).


Spark a debate: Children engage in debating exercise – this can be done in small groups or more formally organised.

Debating Suggestions:

  1. The money you spend on buying bananas helps a rich boss become even richer. Meanwhile the workers become poorer and poorer.
  2. Workers are paid very little for the hours they work.
  3. The boss of the company pays the workers very little so that he/she can make more money.


Other Resources for teaching this topic

Using ipads Look at the Fairtrade website with the class ( Find out more about a variety of products and investigate which retailers stock Fairtrade items. Ask the children to work out who stocks the most Fairtrade fruit.

Metimeter on ipads to elicit their understanding of Fairtrade (before and after)

Further Fairtrade info on products, supply chain etc can be explored at