Every school in Renfrewshire is to receive a Fairtrade football as part of Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Fortnight.

Bala 04

Pupils will have the opportunity to learn about fair trade through sport and how using Fairtrade footballs can make a difference to the workers who produce them.

Scottish co-operative Bala Sport aims to improve the lives of often exploited factory workers and imports footballs from Sialkot in Pakistan where around 70% of the world’s hand stitched footballs are made.

They aim to challenge the multinational companies who control the market and alter the perception that fair trade means a lack of quality- the balls are manufactured and tested to Fifa professional standards.

The Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group will provide the footballs to support its remit to provide support for schools to encourage a wider understanding about fair trade.

Chair of the Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group, Councillor Jim Sharkey said: “It is particularly important to educate the next generation of fair traders as they are the ones who will take this issue forward in the future.

“By giving every school in Renfrewshire a football to use we hope to inspire them to think about fair trade and realise that it is not just about tea, coffee and bananas.

“I am extremely supportive of Bala Sport and the work that they are doing to bring fair trade into the sports ball industry.”

Angus Coull, Bala Sport Joint Managing Director, said: “This is a great initiative from the Council and we are delighted that every school in Renfrewshire can now play fair with a Bala Fairtrade ball.

“School kids have a very strong sense of what’s fair and with Bala Fairtrade balls they can be sure there’s no child labour involved and that the men and women in Pakistan who made these quality balls are paid fairly, work in safe conditions and benefit from the extra Fairtrade Premium.”

You can find out more about Bala Sport and Fairtrade sports balls at www.balasport.co.uk.

For more information on fair trade in Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/fairtrade or contact fairtrade@renfrewshire.gov.uk.