Internship for Fairtrade Programme
The Talent Hub is proud to be working in partnership with Plymouth City Council to deliver this new student internship programme, designed to develop the Fairtrade offering across Plymouth University and throughout the city. 

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

Cabinet Member for Cooperatives and Community Development, Councillor Chris Penberthy, said:

“Plymouth has a long and proud tradition of cooperative working and ethical trading is an important part of our identity. A commitment to Fairtrade ensures farmers, producers and most importantly the community as a whole benefit.”

Most of us have heard of Fairtrade and some of us make a conscious decision to buy Fairtrade products. Small changes in buying habits can make an astounding difference both in creating a sustainable future for developing countries and here – supporting local businesses and social enterprises.”

These are some of the tasks the interns could be involved in:
  • Research the existing Fairtrade offering in Plymouth.
  • Research Plymouth residents’ awareness of Fairtrade and Plymouth’s current offering.
  • Research which social justice issues Plymouth residents’ are interested in.
  • Develop a strategy to reduce barriers to consumption of Fairtrade products.
  • Research best practices from other cities holding the Fairtrade City Mark.
  • Create a directory of the Fairtrade offering by Plymouth University. 
  • Develop the existing ‘Fairtrade Plymouth Network’ website.
  • Set up a Facebook page for Fairtrade Plymouth.
  • Develop a marketing strategy to raise awareness of Fairtrade to Plymouth residents.
  • Identify events around the city where a Fairtrade presence could be made.
  • Plan the Fairtrade Fortnight event.
  • Develop content for the quarterly Fairtrade Plymouth Newsletter.
  • Source funding for a full-time Fairtrade placement student for 2013-14.
Students were offered the opportunity to apply for 2 internship places and any Plymouth Business School (PBS) or Post Graduate School of Management (PGSoM) students were able to apply. 

Specific working days and times were negotiated between the students and Plymouth City Council to fit around both the students’ academic timetables and the needs of the Council. Interns committed to a minimum of four hours per week for an academic year in return for a bursary.  

The two interns are: 
Jonathan Baggott - BSc (Hons) Economics – Year  1
Nadine Asiedu-Dankwa  - BSc (Hons) Economics with Politics – Final Year

"When I started my Fairtrade Internship with Plymouth City Council I was very excited. I had many grand ideas and was passionate about what the role stood for and the difference I was hopefully going to make. I soon realised that having ideas is not the same as putting them into practice and that the complications of the working world as well as my own lack of experience could be a major stumbling block.

My main achievements so far have included:

  • Redesigning the Fairtrade Retail Survey to be used for the creation of the Plymouth Fairtrade Retail Directory.
  • Helping out at the Fairtrade Futsal tournament at Plymouth Life Centre and being interviewed on the spot by Champion TV
  • Organising funding for and carrying out a Fairtrade Banana Giveaway to raise awareness for Fairtrade, whilst distributing petitions and telling people information to help stop the super market pricing war in the UK which is threating farmers lively hoods in the developing world.
As an intern for the council, I have taken an active part in meetings, suggesting ideas and researching their feasibility with the hope of implementation in the future. I have made connections within and outside the steering group and represented Plymouth City Council as well as Plymouth University as a Fairtrade ambassador.

My module in marketing has helped me understand some of the ways in which to the grab public’s attention. One guest lecturer spoke about marketing for non for profit organisations and I was able to implement some of these ideas in my role, which has added depth to my university learning experience.

I have learnt a lot about the difficulties of working independently as part of an organisation where you have to communicate with and rely on the assistance of people who you have never met in order to achieve results. It has been a frustrating experience at times when things haven’t moved as quickly as I would have liked them to, however it has taught me great communication and practical skills and has given me a taste of some of the challenges of working in an area I would really like to pursue." 
Jonathan Baggott - BSc (Hons) Economics – Year  1

For an informal discussion about offering an internship, please email: inspiringfutures@plymouth.ac.uk. 

Students, keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for information about upcoming internships and how to apply.