Our News

1 March 2013

Fairtrade and Sustainability Festival at Cardiff and Vale College

Cardiff and Vale College is holding a special programme of events to promote all elements of sustainable development and global citizenship with a Welsh flavour as part of Fairtrade Fortnight.

Fairtrade concerns better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms for farmers and workers in the developing world. It holds a flagship fortnight once a year – 25th February to 10th March this year- to highlight its work, and CAVC always gets involved. But this year the College’s Fairtrade and Sustainability Festival is bigger and better and covers all aspects of fair trade, sustainability and global citizenship.

Although Education for Sustainable Development Global Citizenship (ESDGC) is firmly embedded in the College curriculum, during this year’s Festival it takes prominence. Staff and students across the College’s 12 sites throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan have organised and are taking part in a wide programme of awareness-raising events.

These range from Fairtrade coffee mornings and cake sales through to a sale of recycled wood, a ‘Bake Off’ using Fairtrade ingredients, a sale of items made from aluminium recycled by Aerospace students, a pinhole photography workshop using cameras made from recycled materials and a debate on the effectiveness of the Fairtrade organisation.

The College’s Trowbridge training restaurant, Seren, will offer a sustainable breakfast throughout the fortnight. This tasty but ecologically friendly menu features a Welsh breakfast to coincide with St David’s Day: poached Pollack on a bed of laverbread and oatmeal cakes with cockles and tomato salsa, or a full ‘Wenglish’ breakfast using sustainable and local ingredients.

Also marking St David’s Day, the College’s Fashion students have a window display in the Oxfam Boutique in St Mary Street. Cardiff. The theme of the display is ‘re-inventing Welsh national costumes’ and the students have brought their own ideas of national dress to bear using recycled clothing. The display will run for the two weeks of the Festival.

As part of the Barclays Money for Life Challenge but also entering into the spirit of sustainability, Retail Level 2 students held a ‘Make Do and Mend’ event at the YMCA in the Walk, Cardiff. This featured hints and tips for people on how to revamp their old clothes, as well as collars, cuffs and bow ties for men and women custom-made by students.

ESDGC Teaching and Learning Leader Jonathan Pearson said: “Learning about the social and environmental impact of our actions and choices is now a vital part of education at every level.  CAVC is committed to helping our students learn about their role in the global community and their responsibilities towards other people at home and around the world, and towards the natural environments that their lives connect with. 

“So, for example, catering students will investigate the costs (financial, social and environmental) of choosing global or local ingredients, English students debate environmental issues, construction students recycle most of the raw materials they use, and maths students calculate the 'carbon footprint' of products they've bought.”