My school, the business school in Lienz (Austria), has set itself the goal to gain the so-called “Fairtrade certification”, a certification for schools, which are setting steps towards fair trade in different areas or categories. In order to reach this goal, we have already made some things become reality. At the beginning of the schoolyear 2019/20, an ambitious team consisting of some of our marketing students promoted a fair vending machine. They have successfully organised the machine and let it become reality. Our “Fairomat”, which is the machine’s name, does not need any electricity, and only contains fair traded snacks. It got sponsored by our local World-Shop in Lienz (Weltladen Lienz), which is a small store, distributing only fair traded products.
On the “open day” of our school, we had an area only for Fairtrade and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By talking with one of our professors and a group of students you could inform yourself about the 17 SDGs and you were able to analyse your own ecological footprint. Of course, our “Fairomat” was also represented by us.
At the end of the first semester, the students of the fourth grade organised a school trip to Styria to visit and learn more about the famous Zotter manufactory. “Zotter” is well-known in Austria for producing chocolate with fair traded ingredients and for having a close and trustful relationship with the cocoa producers, mainly from South America.
In addition to that, our school also has its own Fairtrade-Team consisting of students out of all grades and two teachers.
Personally, I perceive fair trade as something very important and the idea behind it is a great fundament on which you can build up something great. Supporting farmers in developing countries is a great way to secure their income and is, in my opinion, a good start for achieving the above mentioned Sustainable Development Goals. However, that is not all it takes for improvement. People should be more proactive. The aim should be to enable all farmers to feed their families and to give their children a promising and bright future.
Sophie Vergeiner, 19, Austria (HAK Lienz)
The business school in Lienz (HAK Lienz) and their project “HAK Lienz goes Fairtrade” was financially supported by Südwind Tirol / Get up and Goals. About 200 pupils and many teachers were directly engaged into various project activities (excursions, workshops, events, etc.). www.haklienz.at