Pupils wake up and smell the (Fairtrade) coffee

NICCI MCDOUGALL
Last updated 11:00 28/09/2012
Hollie Guyton
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ

Aparima College student Hollie Guyton, 17, with a Fairtrade coffee cup, along with (left) Abby Simpson (left) and Sarah Menzies, both 12. The school has been recognised as a Fairtrade school.

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Aparima College has become the first Fairtrade school in Southland.

Student Hollie Guyton, 17, said being recognised as a Fairtrade school was a good start in her plans of Riverton becoming a Fairtrade town.

To become a Fairtrade school Aparima College had to complete requirements set by Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand, including using two or more Fairtrade certified products within the school, promoting Fairtrade to students and achieving progress goals, she said.

The school had introduced Fairtrade tea and coffee in the common room and Fairtrade bananas in the canteen, she said.

They had also completed a day of lessons and activities with the students, which included Fairtrade chalk-drawing and colouring competitions.

The school planned to work Fairtrade into its curriculum for junior students and paint a mural somewhere within the school, Hollie said.

Holly, along with a committee of students, planned to have the town certified as Fairtrade by the end of the year - four businesses had already achieved the status, she said.

''It's pretty exciting for us. In a large farming community we know how hard it is to produce food.

''Everyone in the community is behind Fairtrade and we've had a really positive response.''

Aparima College is the only school south of Dunedin listed as Fairtrade.

Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand marketing and communications officer Angus CoullntsTnte said yesterday it was fantastic to see a student motivating an entire community to become Fairtrade.

The school was a good step forward in that direction, he said.

''It would be fantastic to see more smaller towns becoming fairtrade.''

WHAT IS IT

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Source: Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand

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