Food for thought as pupils take on the Rice Challenge

Fairtrade project is a hit at Gourock Primary and Lenzie Academy

During a visit to Malawi in 2008, JTS Chair John Riches discovered that a farmer must sell 90kg of rice to fund one year of secondary education. In Malawi, secondary education is not free and only one in three children attend high school. And so the 90kg Rice Challenge began.

The Challenge suits a range of subjects and has proved popular, with more than 700 school groups taking part. Supporting fairtrade initiatives promotes responsible citizenship and is a key element of CfE.

JTS empowers and educates producers and consumers through the fair purchasing and sale of food products from the developing world. They facilitate the import and distribution of fairtrade products to the UK.

It’s becoming ever more important that we do our bit to ensure producers receive a fair price for their produce, and JTS seeks to provide sustainable incomes for small holder farmers. One way is through our 90kg Rice Challenge.

Gourock Primary School even has its own Global Citizen group to co-ordinate sales.

A school spokesman said: “This has been a huge success and we have sold three batches of the Kilombero rice. Our Global Citizen group is very enthusiastic about the challenge and are passionate about selling because they believe they can make a huge difference to a Malawian child’s life.”

Lenzie Academy has taken on multiple challenges, most recently incorporating Kilombero rice into an Enterprise project for S2 pupils.