PRIMARY school pupils are helping to encourage shoppers to choose foods that provide third world growers with a fair deal.

Children and staff from Red Rose Primary School, in Chester-le-Street, will be setting up stands in the town's Co-op supermarket to raise awareness of fairly traded products this week and next, for Fairtrade Fortnight.

Deputy headteacher Tom Baker said the children in Year 6 have been learning about where food is produced and fair trading as part of their studies in citizenship and social education.

On Wednesday, cocoa farmer Comfort Kwaasibea and 15-year-old Rijayatu, both from Ghana, will be visiting the school.

Rijayatu's parents and Comfort are members of the cocoa co-operative Kuapa Kokoo, which supplies the ingredients for the Co-op's Fairtrade chocolate.

The national supermarket chain recently switched its entire range of own-brand block chocolate to Fairtrade in its 2,400 stores and also sells fairly traded coffee, pineapples, chocolate cake, bananas and wines to ensure a fairer trade for third world growers and producers by guaranteeing fair prices.

Children were offering samples of the chocolate and chocolate cake in store on Thursday and on March 10, 12 and 13.

The Co-op is reducing all its own label and branded Fairtrade products by 20 per cent until Sunday, March 16.