Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council co-ordinate the recent ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ event at Wallace High School.
The invited guest speaker Father John Joseph, a producer of coffee and spices and founder of WSSS Organic Farmers Fairtrade Association also known as WOFFA spoke about the huge difference Fairtrade can make in communities.
The Council supports Fairtrade values and through its Fairtrade Steering Group, which consists of members from the voluntary and community sectors works to ensure that Fairtrade City status continues to develop in the Lisburn Castlereagh area.
The Mayor, Councillor Tim Morrow, said: “It was great to see such a turnout from the younger generation to hear how they can support Fairtrade and hopefully encourage their family members to do the same. Our support is very important as it will ensure that the small scale farmers in developing countries have the opportunity to compete in the global marketplace.”
Father John was welcomed by Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee and Chairman of the Council’s Fairtrade Steering Group.
Speaking at the event, Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, said: “Initiatives such as Fairtrade Fortnight are an opportunity for our community to show their support for Fairtrade farmers across the world. Schoolchildren from Knockmore Primary, St Joseph’s Primary, Friends School Lisburn and Wallace High School had the opportunity to hear first-hand about the trials and successes of a Fairtrade farmer in India. Fairtrade farmers are sociably responsible and when we buy Fairtrade products we enable them to undertake vital business, environmental, health and social projects in their community.
“Fr John told a fascinating account of his life and how Fairtrade has impacted him and other WOFFA members to ensure an increased price for their crops are higher than the market rate, using the Fairtrade premium for the development of their organisation as well as making social improvements and protecting the environment.”
Local Radio and TV Presenter, John Daly kept the pupils entertained with an interactive quiz and lots of special prizes. Wallace High School and Lagan College also spoke about their own Fairtrade projects and encouraged other schools to get involved to support the Fairtrade Foundation.
Deborah O’Hare, Principal of Wallace High School added: “We were delighted to host this very important event in Wallace and I am very grateful for the enthusiasm and energy invested in the work of Fairtrade by Miss McKee, our Head of Geography. As a school we have held a number of events to promote Fairtrade products and I was delighted to welcome Primary and Post Primary pupils and their teachers on this occasion to Wallace to learn more.”