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Archive: Healthy Schools and Fairtrade

Sustain was contracted by Young Co-operatives to assess the implications of the new school food standards for fair-trade food and drink products sold in schools. This work was supported by a grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Young Co-operatives is a not-for-profit organisation that offers young people (usually aged 13-17) a practical introduction to fair trade and co-operative ways of working. It gives them the chance to run their own co-operative selling fairly traded products, acquiring valuable business skills and making a real difference to the lives of producers in poor countries and their families.

However, Young Co-operatives had become concerned that many of the products sold by young co-operative members in schools would not meet the new school food standards for nutrition. For full details of the new standards see the 'new school food standards' page. The new nutrition standards apply to all food and drink products available throughout the day, resulting in confectionery, salted savoury snacks and sugary drinks being removed from all school food outlets. 

This move away from processed towards fresh and healthy foods could be a great opportunity to promote certified Fairtrade products. To help this transition Sustain worked with manufacturers, young co-operative members, the School Food Trust and others, to make recommendations for how schools and the Fairtrade sector should respond to the new school food regulations.

Young Co-operativesSustain worked to:

  • Provide a 'market outlook' for the young co-operatives
  • Produce guidance on an acceptable range of healthy fairly traded products to be sold in schools
  • Provide educational materials explaining the new nutrition standards so that young co-operatives are confident about the products they are selling
  • Re-launch the Young Co-operatives online shop as certified 'healthy'
  • Produce downloadable promotional materials and nutrition information

For more information on how your school can join the Young Cooperatives, see:

Esmee Fairbairn logoThis project was supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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