Did you know that St Andrews is a Fairtrade University?
What is Fairtrade?
‘Fairtrade as a certification is much more than merely an environmental certification, it is the only and best ethical and social certification that really ensures social and environmental, ethical and economic impact, and therefore human impact.’
Coffee farmer, Coopeagri.
Fairtrade is fundamental to changing the lives of farmers’ and workers’ for the better. Fairtrade is an international movement primarily focused on improving trading conditions for farmers across the world. Fairtrade strives to achieve and maintain fair prices for farmers to cover aspects including production costs, and to ensure that they can achieve long term sustainable farming practices and livelihoods. In addition, Fairtrade guarantees long term contracts with the farmers to provide security for their families and local communities, and the opportunity to benefit from expertise that will enhance the skills needed to develop their businesses.
This is just the beginning! For more information on what Fairtrade does please follow this link.
What does it mean to be a Fairtrade University?
‘A Fairtrade University or College is one that has made a commitment to supporting and using Fairtrade.’. Throughout the UK there are more than 170 Fairtrade Universities and Colleges. As a Fairtrade University we recognise the impact we have on producers and communities throughout the world, and therefore are committed to increasing the use and sale of Fairtrade products across our campus. The University’s Fairtrade Steering Group is also committed to engaging with staff and students to increase the awareness of the benefits it brings to farmers through social, environmental and security sustainability.
Our Fairtrade University status shows our recognition and awareness for our global responsibility as a higher education institution and the influence that we have. Being apart of this wider movement is of great importance to the University as we live in a continually changing yet fragile world and should therefore consider the wider impacts we make. The potential we have to raise awareness of Fairtrade on this campus and to our wider community is incredible. We are not only proud of our Fairtrade status but recognise the beneficial effect this could have on producers and farmers around the world.
We believe that people are at the centre of Fairtrade on this campus.
What does this mean for the future of our University?
Being recognised as a Fairtrade University is of great importance to St Andrews as it shows our on going commitment and support for Fairtrade across a variety of sectors, departments and disciplines. This commitment is not short term, it is long term, with not only our policies reflecting change in our on going support of Fairtrade but our outreach to staff and students. The University encompasses both staff and students, and as the University is Fairtrade we hope that our staff and students will show their support for this important movement in the years to come. The Fairtrade Steering Group, that maintains the Fairtrade status, will continue their efforts to increase awareness, access, and availability of Fairtrade products offered within the University of St Andrews through new, innovative ways.
How can you be apart of the Fairtrade University?
The University’s Fairtrade Steering Group is made up of a mixture of staff and student representatives who meet a couple of times per semester to discuss Fairtrade within the University and to renew and update policies if necessary. The University’s Fairtrade Steering Group also seeks to partner with St Andrews Fairtrade Town Group in offering support, joint promotion and positive and pro-active engagement.
From the 27th Feburary to the 12th March, Fairtrade Fortnight will be on and we are in the process of starting to gather ideas for these two weeks. The aim of these two weeks is to reach out to staff and students on the campus, and to the local community, to spread the word about Fairtrade as effectively as possible, informing people of what it is, the good work it does and where they can find Fairtrade produce in St Andrews.
If you would like to have your say about Fairtrade in St Andrews, would like to get in touch or have some creative ideas please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.