Fairtrade Fortnight at Oundle
17th March 2016

‘Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world’ Martin Luther King

As part of Oundle town’s initiative during Fairtrade Fortnight (29th February - 13th March)  - to host as many ‘Fairtrade breakfasts’ as possible – Oundle School’s catering department has considering the School’s purchasing and food habits and considering its Fairtrade policy looking at good and safe working conditions, better prices and fair terms of trade for farmers and producers.

The Fairtrade foundation seeks to work directly with producers and companies and seeks to improve understanding and awareness of the need for Fairtrade and Fairtrade products globally. In particular is the idea of a ‘Fairtrade premium’ which is money paid on top of the minimum price for goods which can be invested for environmental, social or economic development projects.

There are nearly 1,200 certified Fairtrade ‘producers’ across 74 different countries and 1.5 million Fairtrade farmers! 25% of personnel involved in Fairtrade organisations are women.

Across Fairtrade fortnight the School community is selling Fairtrade items during break times and using Fairtrade coffee, tea, sugar and other products including bananas at breakfast and afternoon tea.

Pupils are being encouraged to support the event through their House Food Reps who are involved in choosing menus with catering staff and by thinking about their own personal purchasing at break times as well as asking shops about their own Fairtrade policies.


Pupil Food Reps met with Oundle’s Fairtrade Council representative, Eleanor Rayden, who talked about the power of Fairtrade and the ethos behind it. Oundle has been recognised as a Fairtrade town for nine years and Mrs Rayden was pleased that the School was joining in the initiative of the fortnight.

Despite our dependence on farmers and workers for the foods, drinks and products that we love, millions still live in poverty globally because they aren’t paid a fair price for their produce. 

Head of Oundle’s Environmental Working Party, Ian Clark commented, “Each teabag, teaspoon of coffee, banana and piece of chocolate means a fair price has been paid to the producer and a proportion of the profit is going to a Fairtrade Premium fund which the community then use to build schools and the like.”

Pupil Food Rep Alice Etheridge (17) commented, As a school community, we are quite large. What we do therefore, in terms of lowering carbon emission and buying fair trade foods, can have a very powerful impact on our surrounding areas, as well as farmers further away, who benefit from fair trade. If we, as pupils try to encourage the School catering department to make the move to fair trade products, such as sugar, bananas and tea, as well as thinking about the carbon emissions of individual meals, or possibly introducing "meat-free" days, we will be able to have a really positive effect on the environment, both locally and globally.”

Pupil Food Rep, Bertie Stocks (17) commented, “Becoming a Fairtrade school we are able to have a positive impact upon thousands of less affluent and fortunate individuals worldwide.”


Background Information on Oundle School

Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.

The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In 2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. The School is now embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. Due for completion in September 2016, the development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology. A concurrent Sports MasterPlan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion which opened in April 2015 and new astroturfs due to be completed this year.  

There are currently 1110 pupils on roll at Oundle School, with 860 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day school for children aged 4 to 11. 

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