Millstreet Community School will have the pleasure of welcoming Jose Omar Rodriguez Romero to speak to students, staff and invited guests on Friday 4th March as part of Fairtrade Fortnight 2016 (29th Feb. – 13th March).
Mr Romero, who is known as Omar to his friends, is a guest of Fairtrade Ireland and he has a number of commitments during his stay so the school is delighted that he has been able to fit Millstreet into his busy agenda. Omar is a 4th Generation coffee producer, coffee lover, and resident of the village of Capucas, San Pedro de Copan, Honduras. He says Fairtrade is important, “…because it’s a scheme that is in the hands of small farmers and has a very positive economic, social, and environmental impact on the lives of the producers and the wider community”.
So what is Fairtrade? For many years our school has promoted the purchasing and use of products that have received Fairtrade certification. For products such as coffee, bananas, chocolate, tea, sugar, flowers, cotton clothing and wine to receive certification some strict criteria need to be met. When a product carries the Fairtrade Mark it means it was produced according to international Fairtrade standards. These standards ensure Fairtrade products are socially and economically fair and environmentally responsible. Key standards include the payment of a minimum price and a premium. For most Fairtrade goods there is a Fairtrade minimum price which is set to cover the cost of sustainable production for that product in that region.
Millstreet Community School is working towards becoming a Fairtrade school in 2015/2016 because we feel that it is only fair that the people who produce what we eat, wear and use should get paid enough to live on and have a chance to improve their lives. A Fairtrade school is one that has made a commitment to supporting and using Fairtrade products.