Will it blend?

Will it blend?

About the Project

Supporting the local community, fair trade and enterprise are core to the ethos of Holyrood Secondary School in Glasgow. Given these credentials a partnership with Matthew Algie, the UKs leading coffee roaster with a firm commitment to and history of supporting ethical trade, was a very natural fit.

A Future in Food provided an opportunity to develop and extend enterprise education into a wider industry context that supports active and co-operative learning, links the business operations of a local company to the curriculum and demonstrates to pupils how fair trade really can make a difference.

The project ran over a number of weeks with a class of S3 pupils studying Business Management . The pupils were tasked with working in teams to adopt key roles to develop a company with associated branding, make a range of smoothie products with associated marketing materials for the 12 – 18 year age group.

There is little doubt that the class gained a huge amount from this project. They were given the opportunity to engage with real life business people and explore some of the more complex issues surrounding launching a new project.

Ann Marie McGibbon, Business Education Teacher

Project Partners, Aims and Objectives

  • Build an understanding of food, in terms how a business operates including social responsibility, NPD, marketing and promotion
  • Support a local school and the local community
  • Highlight the range of skills needed in the food and drink industry
  • Promote and raise awareness of the need for ethical trading and sustainability
  • Provide a local and societal context for learning
  • Support CfE within the school
  • Support and enhance Fair Trade activities

Outcome

The pupils worked in teams to carry out the tasks required. The final product and range was presented to a team, including representatives from Matthew Algie, Effort, variety and originality were looked for in making the final decision as to which product would be included the company range.

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) – The School identified relevant CfE Experiences and Outcomes and the company looked to match their input to meet these.

Improved awareness - The school, Mathew Algie and the pupils all agreed that the project improved their awareness of the food and drink industry, the company and their products and most importantly, how a business operates ethically. The programme helped pupils and teachers to develop a better understanding of breadth of food and drink operations.

Industry input – was crucial to the success of this project, having real people to set pupils a challenge makes a real difference to the pupil's perception and enthusiasm towards the task and helps to introduce students to dynamic, changing, competitive and economic environment of industry.

How we did it

Using the Will it Blend website as inspiration, the pupils were tasked with forming and naming their own company to create a range of smoothies products and a marketing plan for the 12- 18 year market.

Staff from Matthew Algie visited the school to speak to the pupils about the company, how they support ethical trading, fair trade farmers and producers and to set the pupils their challenge. Additional information was also provided in the form of nutritional information and relevant websites that could be accessed for further information.

Pupils worked in mixed groups of 4 or 5 pupils to undertake specific tasks, but the whole class got involved in making decisions like company name, agreeing the logo etc.

Market research was undertaken by the pupils and one pupil even conducted his research over the Easter break by interviewing members of the public in a local shopping center, making the research very valuable indeed!

The pupils also undertook research to identify where products could be purchased to ensure that they fit with the ethical requirements of the company. They also made a film advert as well as designing packaging and other marketing materials and a final presentation to a team of judges.

What we learned

Understanding industry – delivering a challenge in this way that supports the delivery of the curriculum aids pupils understanding of the economic and financial environment of business and how to contribute responsibly to society.

Communication Skills – the pupils developed their communication skills by presenting business related information in a variety of formats to real people from industry with the aim of having their ideas accepted and developed.

Numeracy – Costing ingredients, comparing Fairtrade products with other wholesale and supermarket prices, cost of running a business, bank interest charges and information handling e.g. market research surveys.

ICT – a final presentation with a TV advert and other promotional materials were developed.