News from the UC Sustainability Office

UC is Becoming a Fair Trade University!

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Fairtrade-label photo credit Fairtrade InternationalAfter many years of campaigning and raising awareness about Fair Trade on campus by the Sustainability Office, UC Procurement, and UC students and staff, UC Council has given the green light for UC to become a Fair Trade University!

Fair Trade is a movement that aims to end the injustice in the current global trade system in developing nations. It helps to create a better life for growers, pickers, artisans, cooperatives, and their families. Whole communities benefit from Fair Trade through community development projects (e.g. housing, health services) that are supported by the World Fair Trade Organisation and Fairtrade International.

UC is committed to the principles and practices of being a socially responsible institution. Supporting Fair Trade growers and producers is an important way to demonstrate this. Becoming a Fair Trade University also encourages students and staff to become aware of key global social and environmental issues.

Fair trade products at UCimg_31501

A key requirement to become a Fair Trade University is to supply Fair Trade coffee and tea in staff kitchens. This has been an important focus of the UC Fair Trade Accreditation Steering Group, and will be rolled out in late 2016 with the view to UC becoming accredited in early 2017.

Fair Trade products have been widely available through campus for a long time, primarily through campus cafes (e.g. coffee, chocolate, drinking chocolate …..  All UCSA cafes sell Jail Breaker coffee (Fair Trade and organic). Café 101 and Reboot sell a blend of Fair Trade Vivace coffee on request for an extra 20c. Both Jail Breaker and Vivace buy their coffee from a local enterprise called Trade Aid, which is in turn certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation. Trade Aid is also the only Fair Trade organisation to manufacture delicious fair trade organic chocolate, right here in Christchurch!

Another requirement to become a Fair Trade University is to run events which promote Fair Trade. Here at UC, these typically take place during Orientation Day, Eco Week and Fair Trade fortnight.

Get involved

To support Fair Trade and/or get involved:

  • Choose Fair Trade products. At UC cafes you can buy Fair Trade coffee, drinking chocolate and chocolate bars.
  • Take part in Fairtrade Fortnight, held every year. Contact sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz if you have any ideas about hosting an event, or want to take part in one.
  • Volunteer at Orientation Day, Eco Week or Fair Trade Fortnight. Contact sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz if you are interested.
  • If you are a student, you can also get involved by establishing a student Fair Trade club. Talk to the Sustainability Office and UCSA about how to do this.

More information about Fair Trade, the process of UC becoming a Fair Trade campus, and the UC Fair Trade Accreditation Steering Group can be found here.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

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Author: Puck Algera - UC Sustainability Office

Puck worked at the Sustainability Office at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. As the Sustainability Projects Coordinator, she kept busy with student and staff engagement, providing strategic input and advice and organising sustainability-focused events.

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