Monday saw the start of the annual Fairtrade Fortnight – a festival originating with the Fairtrade Foundation. University of St Andrews has been a Fairtrade University since 2007 and as such partakes in the celebrations at the end of February and beginning of March every year.
The 2018 Fairtrade Fortnight runs from Feb 26th until Mar 11th and University of St Andrews’ Environment Team, along with a few student societies and Transition, have an extensive programme of events open to both staff and students, as well as to the public.
What does Fairtrade actually mean?
Fairtrade comprises of “social, economic and environmental standards that are set for both companies and the farmers and workers who grow the food we love. For farmers and workers the standards include protection of workers’ rights and the environment, for companies they include the payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community projects of the community’s choice.” (faitrtrade.org.uk)
Fairtrade, as a certification body, conducts independent audits, ensuring those standards are met along a product’s supply chain. When all of the ingredients that can be Fairtrade in a given product are confirmed to comply with standards (e.g. sugar and cacao powder in chocolate chip cookies), the product is issued the FAIRTRADE Mark – a logo widely recognised by consumers, which signals the product’s sustainability credentials.
In previous posts we have covered Fairtrade in much detail, and if you would like to learn more about the cause and certification criteria, have a read through our blog posts or visit the Fairtrade Foundation website.
Fairtrade in action
University of St Andrews continues to expand its fairtrade product range and 2017 saw the introduction of fairtrade bananas across campus. Currently 100% of bananas, sugar, coffee and hot chocolate, served on campus are fairtrade-certified, with 100% of tea, served in student accommodation and sold in University-owned retail outlets, also fairtrade certified. Our chefs are constantly experiment with different fairtrade ingredients such as rice in order to find the best fit for needs of such a large institution as ours.
What events can I attend this year?
A few of the events we have lined up for the first week of Fairtrade Fortnight include:
- A Fairtrade Tea and Coffee afternoon – Wednesday (Feb 28th), 4:30 – 6pm, Byre Theatre. This is a LiftShare Meet & Greet event – promoting the University’s car sharing scheme – and if you are in need of some caffeine and would like to learn more about LiftShare, stop by and don’t worry about staying for the whole event as it is a drop-in session!
- Another exciting event happening in the Byre is the screening of the documentary ‘The Chocolate Case’ – A group of journalists become aware of child slavery in the cocoa industry and, since slavery is a crime, they idea is to get convicted for eating chocolate. When the big companies refuse to cooperate by producing a slave-free chocolate bar, the team decides to do accept the challenge and make their own. If you are curious to see how well they managed and would like to try the slave-free chocolate bar, head over to the Byre Theatre on Friday (March 2nd) at 6pm. This is a FREE ticketed event and you can get your ticket either at the door, or pre-book online at http://byretheatre.com/events/the-chocolate-case/.
- Thirdly, we have a Fairtrade Vegan Bake-off taking place in the Mansfield building on Sunday (March 4th). You can enter the competition or simply attend and enjoy the finished result. We still have a few spaces left for competition entries and VegSoc are offering a prize for the winner (for more information, contact VegSoc directly). Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite.
We have many more events planned for you, most of which are FREE and include fairtrade goodies GIVEAWAYs, so please check out the event programme below!
Links to Facebook events:
All events tagged with a star (*) are free of charge and will be accompanied by a fairtrade chocolate giveaway!