Paul shows Year 6 children what a cocoa pod looks like
In Aberystwyth, North Wales Divine Chocolate had been invited to attend a Fairtrade conference for local schools organised by Diane Isenberg. This was a fantastic event – attended in the morning by classes and Fairtrade Groups from a large number of primary schools – hosted by Penglais Secondary School. There were Fairtrade stands, and displays and presentations from schoolchildren demonstrating the innovative ways in which they had promoted Fairtrade in their schools and communities. Kojo and Paul captured their attention with the story of life on a cocoa farm and were then able to meet all the children in smaller groups to answer questions and show them cocoa pods and beans up close. One child, whose father is a farmer, offered to trade two sacks of cocoa for two cows – and Kojo seemed to be quite tempted. We weren’t sure they would get through Heathrow on the journey back though.
In the afternoon it was the turn of the Year 8 classes at Penglais. Fairtrade posters were all over the school and a Fairtrade mural had been painted on the wall by students in one of the canteens. It was amazing to see the zeal with which young Welsh people were getting behind Fairtrade. Dubble and Divine sampling was an added bonus at the end of the event!
Wales Fairtrade Forum leader Mark Richardson then piled us into his car and we headed north again – to Bangor. There we were on the programme of a Fairtrade evening event at Bangor University. Andrew Wilson heads up the Fairtrade team at the University and had achieved amazing things since the group got together in January this year. 120 students, residents and local officials turned up which I attribute to Andrew’s brilliant marketing – but he put it down to the lure of chocolate! Always a winner. There was no doubt that the audience was interested, and engaged, asking questions about supply chains and farming technology and coming up to talk at length after the event. A high point of the evening was when Kojo and Paul presented the Mayor with his certificate announcing that Bangor had achieved Fairtrade Town status.