St Joseph’s teacher Monica receives Scottish Fairtrade Award

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An Aberdeen teacher today (Friday 17 January) received a prestigious Scottish award for her work in promoting Fairtrade cotton school uniform.

Monica Malet, who teaches at St Joseph’s School was one of the team of Scottish teachers who won Campaign of the Year for 2019 in the Scottish Fairtrade Awards for their part in leading the ‘Fairtrade school uniform revolution’ in Scotland.

Monica was unfortunately unable to attend last year’s awards ceremony but the Aberdeen Fairtrade Steering Group (AFSG) arranged for Martin Rhodes, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fairtrade Forum, to present her with her award at Marischal College today.

St Joseph’s has been a designated Fair Achiever School since 2016 and has embedded a Fairtrade approach across the school from tuck shop snacks to uniforms.

Monica said, “We first started to investigate the existing possibilities of Fairtrade cotton uniforms after we organised a Fairtrade Fashion show in 2011.

“Although the initial samples were too expensive and not a viable option at that stage, we subsequently met with Andy Ashcrioft from Koolskools and Pamela L’intelligent who works for Craft Aid in Mauritius where uniforms are made.

“Pupils, parents and teachers heard Pamela’s inspiring life story when she visited the school in 2015 and following a a process of testing samples our Parent Council gave the green light and by July we had our very first order of Fairtrade uniforms.

“This made us the first school in Aberdeen to embrace Fairtrade cotton uniforms which made us all extremely proud. Ongoing Fairtrade support continues to be as strong as ever and we are close to celebrating our five years of Fairtrade cotton uniforms”.

Councillor John Wheeler, Convener of Aberdeen City Council’s Education Operational Delivery Committee, said: “Many congratulations to Monica for her well-deserved award. As an organisation we are very supportive of aims to raise public awareness of Fairtrade in the city and to contribute to the council’s corporate strategy of promoting equality and sustainable development. Monica’s award is a fantastic example of that”.

Fairtrade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It ensures that farmers and producers in the developing countries get a fair price for their produce to help them support their families and invest in business, social and environmental improvements in their communities.