Saint Andrew’s School, part of a national initiative by Fair Trade Campaigns to engage PreK – 12 students in issues of global poverty, is proud to announce its official designation as a Fair Trade School. It is the first Fair Trade School in the State of Florida and #38 in the United States.
Fair Trade Campaigns is a grassroots movement mobilizing thousands of Fair Trade advocates on campuses and in communities across the United States. Fair Trade Campaigns recognize towns, colleges, universities, schools, and congregations in the US for embedding Fair Trade purchasing practices and principles into policy, as well as in the social foundations of their communities. Project collaborators include Fair Trade USA, Fairtrade America, and Fair for Life, third-party certifiers of Fair Trade products in the United States, and the Fair Trade Federation, a North American trade association of organizations fully committed to Fair Trade. Visit www.FairTradeCampaigns.org for more information.
On Thursday, May 16, 2019, SA students and faculty presented the official designation as First Fair Trade High School in Florida to an audience of students, teachers, parents, alumni, and business owners.
During the event, students in the Social Entrepreneurship class provided context for Fair Trade designation. “Fair Trade is an economic system that ensures consumers the products they buy were grown, harvested, crafted and traded in ways that improve lives and protect the environment,” said Amanda Baritz ’19, a student leader in this initiative. “Fair Trade Campaigns officially recognizes schools in the US committed to educating students about the issues of Fair Trade and sourcing Fair Trade products like coffee, tea, and bananas in the cafeteria, offices and at events,” she added.
With over 500 Fair Trade Schools in the United Kingdom alone, the US program grew out of work in Europe and the increasing demand for Fair Trade and ethically produced products to be incorporated into institutional purchasing. Fair Trade Campaigns sees the tremendous impact institutional purchasing in the US can have on farmers and artisans worldwide.
“Few things are more exciting than seeing today’s youth understand the role that they can play as consumers in making the world a fairer and just place,” stated Billy Linstead Goldsmith, director of Fair Trade Campaigns. “To see them become not just conscious consumers, but advocates for Fair Trade should challenge all of us to do the same.”
The student-driven campaign was created to build the awareness and availability of Fair Trade at Saint Andrew’s. The school met three essential requirements, which included building a student-driven Fair Trade Team, committing to Fair Trade education and events, and sourcing Fair Trade products.
The campaign began in January 2019 when students in the Saint Andrew’s Social Entrepreneurship Class learned about Fair Trade and its social impact from Jerry Hildebrand, Director of Social Impact at Lynn University. Mr. Hildebrand had shared that Lynn was named a Fair Trade University in May of 2018 and that he, along with students from Lynn, was willing to assist Saint Andrew’s students in the process. SAGE Dining Services, Saint Andrew’s food service partner, was also willing to help.
After three months of hard work by the students, Saint Andrew’s School received the good news on April 15, 2019, that it had met all of the requirements to earn Fair Trade School Designation as recognized by Fair Trade Campaigns.
“We were so excited because there were so many benefits to Saint Andrew’s becoming a Fair Trade School,” said Cristen Magaletti, Social Entrepreneurship Teacher. “There was strong alignment with our Episcopalian values and academic program in entrepreneurial studies. This opportunity also presented a valuable learning moment for the students to view themselves as change agents since they were driving the entire process from the start.”
There are now over 280 active Fair Trade Campaigns in towns, schools, congregations and universities across the country, now including Saint Andrew’s School. Hilary Pushkin, Scots Corner Director, made a significant announcement at Thursday’s unveiling event. “I am excited to announce that a Fair Trade t-shirt will be on sale at Scots Corner this summer. We look forward to many more ways we can support the Fair Trade initiative at Saint Andrew’s School.”
Maddie Gottsegen ’20, a student leader in gaining the Fair Trade distinction, was also proud to announce at Thursday’s event that next year Saint Andrew's has big plans for its Fair Trade initiative. “Next year this is going to be a club that will open up to our entire high school community, any student can join. With the help of other students, we are going to educate others. Hopefully, we can come up with more great ideas to make Fair Trade a lasting legacy of Saint Andrew’s School.
Jerry Hillenbrand challenged Saint Andrew’s School to continue its leadership in putting Fair Trade on the map in Florida. “There is an obligation that goes along with this distinction as the first Fair Trade School in Florida. What Saint Andrew's can do as the first is pay it forward to another school or several schools in the area.”
With Maddie’s leadership and the ideas of fellow Upper School students, there’s little doubt that Saint Andrew’s, First Fair Trade High School in Florida, will make a lasting impact on other schools, industries, and people throughout the entire state of Florida...and beyond.