The University of St Andrews was recently re-awarded Fairtrade University status by the Fairtrade Foundation…but what does that mean?
Fairtrade University status is awarded to universities in the UK which have made a commitment to supporting and using Fairtrade. In order to be awarded this status, universities must satisfy the five goals of the Fairtrade Foundation:
1. Passing a Fairtrade policy statement
Not only does the university have its own Fairtrade policy, but the Students’ Association has one too! Both are publicly available on the university’s website, and are reviewed regularly. By supporting Fairtrade we are doing our bit to help support farmers, producers, and their communities by guaranteeing better prices, working conditions, and terms of trade to allow them to develop their farms whilst also protecting the environment in which they live and work.
2. Get Fairtrade products on campus
The university’s cafes stock a wide range of Fairtrade food and drink including coffee, tea, sugar, fruit juice, chocolate bars, cookies, and flapjacks. The Students’ Association shop also sells a wide variety of Fairtrade clothing including hoodies, t-shirts, polo shirts, and jogging bottoms of various designs.
In catered halls of residence, fairly traded rice and lentils are served. The university is participating in Just Trading Scotland’s Rice Challenge, and has so far raised enough money to send fourteen Malawian children to school for a year.
3. Use Fairtrade products at meetings
Fairtrade coffee, tea, sugar, and hot chocolate are the only options offered at meetings and events hosted by the university. Not only that, but the range of products has recently been expanded to include decaf coffee and flavoured teas! These Fairtrade products are also served at weddings catered by the university, and all graduation garden parties and dinners.
4. Organise Fairtrade campaigns
Every year the Fairtrade steering group hosts a number of events to help raise awareness of Fairtrade. This semester we have held a Fairtrade bake sale in conjunction with the university’s Oxfam society, and have published a Fairtrade Christmas Gift Guide to help provide some inspiration for your festive shopping!
Fairtrade Fortnight is coming up in February and will see a whole host of events being held to raise the profile of Fairtrade on campus, so watch this space for more details early next semester!
5. Set up a Fairtrade steering group
Our Fairtrade steering group meets monthly to discuss various Fairtrade issues and ideas. The groups is composed of staff from the Environment Team, Residential Services, Catering, Procurement, and Students’ Association, as well as students from a variety of year groups, and representatives from the St Andrews Fairtrade Town Campaign.
This year we have also taken on a Fairtrade Events Intern to assist with the planning and publicity of all our events, and are always looking to grow our steering group – if you’re interested just email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
So there you have it! Being named a Fairtrade University is a wonderful accolade, and we hope to build upon our current successes and expand our range of products. If you have any ideas of your own, or want to get involved, contact email@example.com to get started!