Recently students at Caroline Chisholm College in Braybrook looked into ethical purchasing and the supply chains of everyday goods that they buy. They found the supplier of their school laptops was poorly rated by the ethical purchasing guide with acknowledged links to child and forced labour. The students made a submission to their principal and as a result, the College changed the supplier for their laptops to a company with a better rating and more ethical supply chain. See their inspiring story below.
The staffroom, and CafeN9ne (Wurundjeri Trade Training Centre) at Aquinas College in Ringwood went slavery-free in 2017. They followed these important steps:
- Michele and a team of people ran a ‘taste and see’ for staff to demonstrate that slavery-free products tasted good. Alongside the tasting was information about the ethics of going slavery-free. This awareness-raising was ongoing.
- Once teachers were ‘won over’, Michele and her team took the issue to the College executive, who agreed to go slavery-free.
- The team involved Year 11 Foundation Maths students and they did a cost comparison of current tea and coffee products and slavery-free products.
- They worked very closely with the accounts/buying staff to show how and why the transition could happen.
‘In 2015 I first started the discussion about buying slavery-free tea and coffee for our staff room. It took a couple of years and the involvement of students, but by 2017 it had happened,’ said Michele.
‘At first a few staff said that they didn’t like the choices, but I think that was more about change. Now, everyone enjoys what is provided. It’s delicious tea and coffee and there is such a wide choice now.
‘It’s more than a buying choice. Going slavery-free is a moral choice and we all need to do it.
‘If you create awareness you can win over the minds, hearts and souls.’
Michele’s tips for becoming slavery-free
- Identify a ‘champion’ in your school who can carry this through.
- Raise awareness of the importance of being slavery-free and the impact on people around the world.
- Run a slavery-free tasting in the staffroom, offering a few varieties of slavery-free tea, coffee and drinking chocolate so people can discover it tastes great.
- Engage students in the process.
- Transitioning to a slavery-free staffroom does require some changes in the accounts and buying practices of the school, so work together.
- Start now. Just do it!
Staff are currently enjoying Tradewinds products:
- Colombian Instant Coffee 800g
- Premium Bulk Teabags
- Colombian Decaffeinated Instant Coffee 200g.
Aquinas College orders from Tradewinds.
Aquinas teacher Michele Armstrong and hospitality assistant at the school’s Wurundjeri Trade Training Centre Rhonda Wheeler, enjoy a cup of slavery-free coffee.