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You are here: Home » News » From Glasgow to Co-operatives United



The Glasgow Academy at Co-operatives United

Members of the Glasgiow Academt's Fairtrade Group set up shop at Co-operatives United in Manchester.

Members of the Fairtrade Group at the Glasgow Academy, a student enterprise run as a co-operative, made the journey down from Scotland to set up shop at the international Co-operatives United expo in Manchester. Watch a video of them talking about what they get out of being members of the Young Co-operative.

Six core members attended the expo, but there are about 50 in the school in total. One group works on plans for Fairtrade Fortnight and another has developed teaching material on Fairtrade for primary students. Now in their 6th year at school, the students who showed off their work at the expo have been members of the Young Co-operative for three years. They joined because “it’s good fun and it’s a good cause”, and they say “we’re all quite interested in politics”. They explained that, in the Young Co-operative, “everything is decided as a group as a whole”, and the members feel “we have been very successful”. Profits are invested in microfinance co-operative Kiva, a demonstration of the co-operative value of social responsibility.

At the expo the group sold a range of products include Divine Fairtrade chocolate, produced by a cocoa co-operative in Ghana – an example of co-operative solidarity, Fairtrade Kilombero rice from Malawi, alongside cookbooks put together by the students, and their latest product, Oromo coffee from the Oromia region of Ethiopia. They explained: “We try to implement a new product each year, and coffee is a good market.” The Young Co-operative sells the coffee to parents in the morning, which is described as “a relief for parents”! Members of the Young Co-operative were able to talk about their work with visitors to the expo, and meet members of all sorts of other co-operatives, including the Co-operative Party.

Members of the Glasgiow Academt's Fairtrade Group set up shop at Co-operatives United in Manchester.

The Young Co-operative’s most recent initiative is a petition to try and get the company behind IRN-BRU, Scotland’s national drink, to use Fairtrade sugar, in line with Scotland’s status as a Fairtrade nation. At 29 per cent sugar, they believe it would make a big difference and hopefully make other drinks manufacturers sit up and take notice.