The concept of fair-trade is widely publicized but few can fully appreciate the concept of trade behind without being involved in the process. As such, to fully appreciate the concept and the intra-generation equity principle embedded within, the students will learn by participating in a mock fair-trade game. The game takes form of a role playing game depicting the chain of effect that each role signifies. This exercise will enable the students to experience the difficulties and needs in exercising fair-trade by first hand making it an innovative approach for understanding.
The aim of the game is for players to understand some of the pressures facing poor farmers by trading under a non fair-trade system (no guarantee price due to fluctuation in world market price, unregulated high interest rate loan, once-off trading relationship between producers and buyers). The students will naturally learn the concept of fair trade and how it is still possible to be poor even if the farmers work very hard. There will be five groups representing different roles presented in the following table.Fair-trade game: roles and responsibilities
Teachers will guide the students through the process of making decisions (i.e. source supplier selection, e-platform trading) and support their moral and character development in parallel.
A group of student is designated as local mushroom farmers that maintain livelihood through selling a produce (e.g. mushrooms).
Students play the role as the bank to lend money at high interest rate to the farming families and are designated to oversee the “currency” in the game.
At the beginning of the game, each Farming Family will be given resources to grow a produce (e.g. mushroom – a suitable produce will replace mushroom depending on weather) but the amount may vary between families to reflect difference in resource distribution. During the game, there is a trading session each week in which the Cost-of-living Collectors will collect varying amount of money from the Farming Families for schools fees and/or other living fee. The Farming Families will sell the mushroom they grow to the Market Trader to earn sufficient money to pay for the bills. If the Farming Families do not make sufficient money, the Money Lender will lend money to them a high interest rate. The Game Leader will introduce different market fluctuation scenarios to the Farming Families to adjust the difficulty of the game on a weekly basis. The transaction will be recorded virtually on a web-based system in the form of an e-trading platform. Players will engage with the e-trading platform frequently, as a means of record keeping and a progression check.
Students are designated to represent vendors of food, clothing, electricity etc. who sells goods and services to the farming families.
Market Traders Students are designated for buying the organic produce from the Farmer Families and exchanging goods to other students.