Limerick students embrace Fairtrade values as climate change impacts food producers

  • Councillor Gerald Mitchell, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Delores O'Meara, Chairperson of Limerick Fairtrade Association with Trey Carl Brolan, Scoil Trionoide Naofa, Doon, Ellie Leo, Knockainey NS, Overall Junior Winner, Ariana Obuhona, Laurel Hill FCJ, Overall Senior Winner, Conor O'Brien, Milford NS and Violet Bueno, Donoghmore NS. Picture: Keith Wiseman
Mayor Gerald Mitchell, Delores O'Meara, Chairperson of Limerick Fairtrade Association with Trey Carl Brolan, Scoil Trionoide Naofa, Doon, Ellie Leo, Knockainey NS, Ariana Obuhona, Laurel Hill FCJ, Conor O'Brien, Milford NS and Violet Bueno, Donoghmore NS.

Students from schools across Limerick have been told that climate change is making the work of the Fairtrade organisation more important than ever.

The appeal came as pupils visited Limerick City and County Council Headquarters at Merchant’s Quay to promote the Fairtrade message and to help celebrate Fairtrade Limerick’s 18th Birthday. 

As part of the awareness programme, the students created Christmas Cards centred on the Fairtrade message of promoting fair trading practices between Ireland and developing countries. 

Cards were created by pupils from schools across the city and county aged from five to eighteen, illustrating what Fairtrade means to them. 

Addressing the pupils, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Gerald Mitchell said: 

 “Choosing Fairtrade means that you care how the product was produced, who produced it and what benefit they get. By choosing to support Fairtrade, you can add your voice to demands for a trade system that puts people, not profit, at the heart of the transaction. Our voices become louder when we speak together. It means taking a look behind the brands, the messages, and get to the real story behind the product. That is what Fairtrade is about! There are over 1.7 million producers, farmers and workers spread across more than 75 countries in the world participating in Fairtrade with sales in 2017 reaching 9.2 billion US Dollars.”

Announcing the winners of this year’s school’s Christmas Card competition, Dolores O’Meara, Chair of the Limerick City Fairtrade Committee said:  

“Christmas is a time for giving and receiving.  We spend a lot of money on consumer goods at this time of year but we still buy tea, coffee, cocoa, bananas, chocolate. Many of the producers in the developing world of these everyday items are struggling with climate change, drought and flooding.  We have the opportunity to remember them and support them by choosing the item with the Fairtrade logo.” 

The gathering in City Hall also marked the 18th anniversary of Limerick City as a Fairtrade City. 

Limerick City was awarded status as a Fairtrade City in 2005 thanks to the concerted efforts of local people to ensure that Fairtrade produce was made widely available. 

It shows Limerick City’s commitment to supporting a fairer trading system with developing countries. 

The Fairtrade programme ensures that producers in developing countries receive a fair price for their products. A minimum price for negotiations between producer and purchaser is set in order to ensure the producers are guaranteed a sustainable business. However, if the market price is higher than this minimum price set, then the purchaser must pay the market price. 

Further information on how the Fairtrade programme operates is available at

Fairtrade Christmas Card Competition Results:

  • Overall winner in Primary School Category:  Ellie Leo, Knockainey NS 
  • Overall winner in Secondary School Category: Ariana Obuhova, Laurel Hill FCJ 
  • The following students received Special Merit Awards:  
  • Trey Carl Brolan, Scoil na Trionóide Naofa, Doon; Conor OBrien, Milford NS; Violet Bueno, Donoughmore NS. 

Highly Commended Primary Section:

Emma Doody, Zara Oriordan, Odhrán Davern, Knockainey NS;  George Bourke, Donoughmore NS; Tomás Mac Conchubhair, An Mhodhscoil, Limerick; Luke Maher, St John’s NS, Cratloe; Oran Brogan, John OBrien, St Mary’s Boys NS, Abbeyfeale;  Caoimhe Osullivan, Milford NS; Christopher Gerety, Knockea NS;  Clodagh Riall, Lucy McAuliffe, Desmond Weekes, Hayley Cronin, Olexsandr Yevchuk, Scoil Dean Cussen, Bruff;  Neva Jiphin, Jacquelyn Shiju, Our Lady of Lourdes PS, Rosbrien;  Poppy Quaid, Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh, Roxborough. 

Highly Commended Secondary Section:

Leah Stapleton, Iseult Ryan, Scoil na Trionóide Naofa, Doon;  Josh Ryan, Shayne Putra Esqandar Mohd Shaiful, Coláiste Mhichíl Limerick;  Rose Potter, Síofra Murphy, Elizabeth Jezkova, Erin Cronin, Laurel Hill FCJ; Abbie Kennedy, Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally.

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