As part of the Cub Scout Global Challenge the Pack were tasked to find out about a global issue such as poverty, conservation or water and sanitation and what they could do to help. The topic that was chosen for further investigation was that of Fairtrade and in particular the Fairtrade organisation and its work to make sure the people that grow or make the things we buy get a fair price for what they do. Often it is the people far away who grow foods, such as cocoa beans for your bar of chocolate, who are the ones who get the worst deal from what you buy. Cocoa farmers are some of the poorest people in the world and many of them earn on average about £50 a year. They depend on selling their beans to pay for the essential things in life including wellington boots to protect their feet from the scorpions that live among the cocoa trees. However, the Cubs learned that many farmers don't make enough money from selling their beans and can't afford food, medicine, clean water or school for their own children.
The Fair Trade organisation is working to get international companies to pay fair prices to the people who make and grow the things we buy. This includes farmers, craftworkers and other producers, all over the world. They are also persuading supermarkets that customers want producers to be paid a fair price. The Pack also found out that when things are "Fair Trade Certified" or have Fair Trade Federation labels, it gives a fair price to farmers, doesn't allow abusive child labour, and supports the environment. Fair Trade helps farmers send their children to school, feed their families, and pay their workers.
Each year the Fair Trade organisation runs The Fairtrade Fortnight campaign, during which time the general public are encouraged to help publicize the fair-trade aims and its products. This year everyone was invited to take part in their attempt to break the world record for the longest continual piece of bunting. So as you can see the Cubs set to work with all of their usual willingness and enthusiasm. The result was 8.5 metres of the very best ”4th Bedworth Bunting” sporting the words “Fairtrade” and “Together We Can Make Trade Fair”. Our banner’s size will be submitted via the Fairtrade web site and hopefully it will contribute towards a new world record, we’ll let you know just how we got on in a few months time!
The evening wasn’t all fun and games as the Cubs were required to a little scientific investigation by sampling some fairtrade chocolate, for research purposes only of course. Bars of Kit Kat were cut up into small pieces and on the successful roll of a die these were quickly despatched, proving that Fairtrade really is SWEET!