Hundreds of pupils discuss Fairtrade

Pictured at the Fairtrade event are: Denise Watson; Melanie Drea, Project Manager,Fairtrade Ireland; Dr Chris Stange, Consul General St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Blas Arismendis Marcelino Guzman, Fairtrade producer and Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of the Council's Development Committee.
Pictured at the Fairtrade event are: Denise Watson; Melanie Drea, Project Manager,Fairtrade Ireland; Dr Chris Stange, Consul General St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Blas Arismendis Marcelino Guzman, Fairtrade producer and Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of the Council's Development Committee.

Over 200 local students recently gathered at Lagan Valley LeisurePlex to learn more about Fairtrade activity.

To celebrate being a Fairtrade city, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council invited guest speaker Blas Arismendis Marcelino Guzman, an active member of the Banelino Association in the Dominican Republic, to talk to local students about the importance of Fairtrade in improving the lives of the farmers, their families and communities.

Blas was welcomed by Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee and Chairman of the Council’s Fairtrade Steering Group.

“The Council is keen to promote the fact that Lisburn Castlereagh is a Fairtrade city, and we were delighted to welcome Fairtrade producer Blas to our council area,” said Mr Leathem. “Through inviting local students we are able to play our part in educating the younger generation in the significance of Fairtrade and how from Northern Ireland we can help support Fairtrade farmers across the world. Schoolchildren from Fort Hill Integrated College, Dundonald High, Wallace High, Killowen Primary and Largymore Primary heard first-hand about Blas’s passion for agriculture and how he took over the family land from his grandfather to grow bananas. Blas also spoke about how the first banana cooperative, Banelino Association was formed in the Dominican Republic.”

Blas Arismendis Marcelino Guzman commented: “I am proud to be an active member of the Banelino Association, as all its members share the values and principles of striving for justice, solidarity, union, loyalty and respect for humans and the environment.”