Twelve pupils from an East London high school have been taught a lesson in Fairtrade promotion at a Hotelympia workshop.
The Forest Gate Community School students put together marketing campaigns for flapjacks to emphasise their sustainable credentials.
The students, split into three groups, were judged on product packaging and Fairtrade marketing strength. Ferdi Lyons, 15, whose team came up with the winning Flap a-Fair flapjack, said it was important for young people to understand where their food came from.
He said: "Many teenagers ignore it, but it's often people our age who are working in the fields or in factories to make these products.
"So if we buy Fairtrade then it can help these people out of the bad situations they are in."
The British Hospitality Association (BHA) organised the event, which was part of the Waste Works initiative spearheaded at Hotelympia by the Responsible Hospitality Partnership (RHP). The BHA and the RHP judged the designs, alongside staff from event sponsors Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Aramark. Judge Chris Hodges from Coca-Cola's shopper marketing said it was great to see such enthusiasm from the pupils.
"That the children knew so much about sustainability and Fairtrade was really great to see."
Forest Gate assistant principal and head of the school's business and enterprise department Stephen Gillatt said the pupils would learn a lot from their trip to ExCel.
"There's a shortage of skilled people in the hospitality industry at the moment," he added. "It has very good career prospects so we push quite a lot to point students in that direction.
"We do a lot of events that focus on catering and talk about it a lot as a potential career path."
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