Students at The Wey Valley School have been challenged to a blind food-taste test to see if they could tell the difference between Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade produce as part of national Fairtrade Fortnight.

And lively debate among the students at the end of the session has resulted in a proposal to introduce a new school-wide Fairtrade policy.

Head boy, Lucas Jones (Year 11), said: “What we learned at the food-tasting session helped us understand the huge benefits of the Fairtrade scheme to farmers in poorer parts of the world. 

“It made us think, and the student council is now considering ways to support the movement by identifying ways to offer Fairtrade produce at Wey Valley.”


Members of the student council tested their taste-buds with samples fruit juice, apricots, strawberry jam, rice cakes, bananas and chocolate and were asked to guess which items were Fairtrade.

When it was revealed which of the samples tested were Fairtrade, students were asked to judge whether they thought those items represented better value for money. They also researched which countries the items originated from.

Those who took part will now share their findings with the other students at special school assemblies focusing on the Fairtrade movement.

Andrew Wilson, Vice Principal from Wey Valley said: “As a co-operative academy The Wey Valley School is very keen to explore and support Fairtrade.

“The students have already suggested a review of items on the menus offered to our students in the Diner, and of the ingredients used by our hospitality and catering students.

“Subject to approval by staff and governors, we’d also like to commit to offering only Fairtrade tea and coffee at Parents’ Evenings and other school events.”

Staff and members of the school council thanked Sainsburys in Weymouth who supported Fairtrade Fortnight at Wey Valley and donated produce for the blind tasting activity.

Student Lachlan Fraser (Year 9) said: “I was surprised to learn that some Fairtrade produce is cheaper and even for those that weren’t; the difference in price was not a lot.”

Sean Roberts in Year 10 said: “It was a very interesting session. Some of the Fairtrade food tasted better, and I was surprised to find out which countries some of the items came from.”