4 - The Journey of a Fairtrade Grain of Rice
In this lesson, students explore the supply chain and all those involved in producing, buying and selling rice on the international market.
This lesson plan has links to Curriculum aims and programmes of study in Citizenship and Geography, and recommended content in PSHE.
To understand the people, organisations and world institutions involved in the Fairtrade rice process.
To explore how decisions taken on a local, national and global scale affect individuals and communities.
Scissors, washing line, pegs and signs of different organisations for starter activity.
Starter: Use a washing line in the classroom to peg up the different organisations/stages in the Fairtrade process below and then discuss with students what role each organisation has, putting them in order.
Rice farmers: grow the rice
Farmers’ families: harvest the rice
Green Net Co-operative: exports the rice overseas
Thai government: is in charge of export taxes (money to be paid on goods being sent out of the country)
UK government: is in charge of import taxes (money to be paid on goods being brought into the UK)
Traidcraft: organisation which distributes Fairtrade rice
Supermarket: sells the rice
John (consumer): buys the rice
Download documents in Welsh:
Using the washing line as a starting point, ask the class whether any organisation key to the trade process has been forgotten. Look at the import/export taxes implemented by the governments. Who or what do the class think makes up the trade rules between countries? Introduce the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). What does the class think their role is? Who are they there to help? Who is in charge of them? (see teachers’ notes) Ask the class what impact they think the WTO has on the lives of rice farmers and their families.
Working in pairs, students complete the Journey of a Fairtrade grain of rice worksheet. Feed back to class. Are they surprised at any of the organisations involved?
Students cut out the circles. First, they place the rice farmers in the centre of the desk. Working together they decide which people/organisations in trade are most important to the rice farmers and place them around the central circle. They then decide those people/organisations of average importance and place these further away. Finally, those of least importance are put down around the edges.
Students copy their diagram into their books with explanations.
The class now looks at trade from the point of view of the World Trade Organisation and follows the same process. What are the differences and similarities between the diagrams? What does it tell the class about the problems of achieving fair trade? If time, look at it from a variety of perspectives.
Using a roll of blank wallpaper turn one wall of the class into a graffiti wall. Students then write down what they have learnt in the lesson, how they feel about Fairtrade and what they would like to know more about in the future
Students research the role of the WTO in more depth, considering the ways it could support Fairtrade.