As a Fair Trade Accredited Campus, one of UC Sustainability’s biggest campaigns on campus each year is Fairtrade Fortnight. This two week celebration of all things fair trade is coordinated by Fairtrade ANZ, and aims to increase consumer awareness about the benefits and impact that choosing fair trade products has, by looking for their Fairtrade mark.
Fair trade supports marginalised farmers and workers in developing countries, enabling them to take care of their environment and to build a better and more secure life for themselves, their families and their communities. By changing the balance of power in trade, purchasing fair trade creates a real, positive difference in people’s lives, from the farmers and workers growing crops, right through the supply chain to the place where you buy the end product.
What does this mean for UC?
Being recognised as a Fair Trade University means our community is committed to being a socially responsible institution. We demonstrate this by supporting fair trade growers and producers in our department kitchens, campus retail outlets, through our supplier contracts, and by encouraging our University community to become aware of key global, social and environmental issues that affect real people and their communities around the world. Learn more about our Fair Trade journey at UC here.
UC is proud to stand with fair trade producers and encourage ethical sourcing. To support this, we are committed to purchasing Fairtrade and World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) certified products.
Being recognised as a fair trade campus means we also have a responsibility to raise awareness about the benefits of fair trade, and engage our wider community with our Fair Trade University status. We’re so proud, and we want you to be too!
Fairtrade Fortnight 2018
This year, UC Sustainability celebrated all things Fair Trade by holding a series of events, activities, talks and presentations for our UC community to participate in. We wanted to not only show off our wonderful Fair Trade producers that we have on campus, but also to engage and educate our UC community about how important choosing fair trade products are. We hope that by learning the stories of the people behind the products you buy, that you’ll feel inspired and motivated to begin learning more about fair trade, and find your place to make change.
We hope you enjoy having a look at some of the photos we’ve included in this ‘highlights reel’. It was a busy and full on fortnight of all things fair trade and ethical, and we’d love to run an even bigger and better version of events next year.
Have an idea for a fair trade event you’d like to see on campus during next years Fairtrade Fortnight? Or a company or brand you’d like to be able to support on campus? Be in touch with us! We’d love to hear from you.
Event One: Presentation and Q&A with Trade Aid NZ
Andrea Brewster from Trade Aid’s education team came in to UC for a one hour presentation on the work Trade Aid has been doing in NZ and around the world since 1973. As New Zealand’s largest importer of fair trade and ethical products, including green coffee beans, Trade Aid has been illustrating over the last 40 years that it is possible to use business to build a better world.
Andrea shared Trade Aid’s history of successfully combining development and trade, including her own personal connections to the social enterprise. She then introduced us to the 10 principles of fair trade that Trade Aid operate under, as part of their guaranteed fair trade status with the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). More on WFTO and their membership organisation here.
We then were introduced to their key partners from all around the world, including a few case studies of their trading partners in India and Bangladesh.
How can we get behind social enterprises like Trade Aid, and make a real difference? By supporting Trade Aid’s journey by purchasing their fairly traded products: crafts, coffee, teas, sugar, chocolate, homewares, bags… (the list goes on!) and by learning the stories behind each beautiful and hand crafted product.
“We’re about trade, not aid” was perfectly summed up by Andrea, as she described the relationship Trade Aid has with their producers.
There is so much to discover about Trade Aid, and Andrea did a fantastic job sharing the story in just an hour! We learnt how positive, respectful and fair trade systems helps producers improve their lives, heard stories about the skilled artisans behind the products, saw how buying fair trade products changes the world for good.
Event Two: Ethical Fashion with Little Yellow Bird
We were lucky enough to have Samantha Jones, CEO of ethical clothing and uniform company, Little Yellow Bird (LYB) come in and speak to us as part of Fairtrade Fortnight – we bet many of you didn’t realise that LYB is actually one of UC’s preferred suppliers for apparel (and Sam is UC alumni!)! See the UC news article here, on our unique relationship with LYB.
LYB pride themselves on making uniforms and branded apparel that is “better for people and better for the planet.” They make wardrobe staples from rain-fed organic cotton, and are created in fair trade factories in India, before being shipped to NZ where they sell their products online. Sam spoke to the incredible producers of the apparel, the organic cotton farms (where they trace the cotton from farm to factory floor), and the final products that they bring to us (including the new lines coming soon!)
We were very lucky to have Sam along for a one-hour presentation on ethical clothing and production. During the Q&A we touched on the challenges of an ethical company coming up against fast fashion, her experiences in India, and her relationship as a UC student, and now a UC supplier!
Event Three: Fair Trade Fair, meet our suppliers!
Our biggest event of Fairtrade Fortnight this year was our Fair Trade Fair, where we invited our UC fair trade suppliers to come along and share their stories, plus give away fair trade tastings of their products to plenty of hungry students and staff!
We were lucky enough to have Common Good Coffee Roasters (our UCSA coffee supplier) handing out fair trade cold brew, Trade Aid showing off their crafts, teas, coffees and of course their famous chocolate tastings, Karma Cola on the fair trade cold drinks, All Good Bananas supplying free fair trade bananas to hungry students, and Office Max (our department supplier of fair trade products) doing an awesome fair trade prize pack!
It was an awesome event, and we hope you managed to come along and try some of the fair trade goodies on offer. We also hope that you enjoyed meeting the people and businesses who bring us the amazing fair trade products on campus, and got the chance to hear their stories, and see how they are doing business for good. As a university community, we are so proud of our fair trade suppliers and the work they do, and so it was a pleasure to have them along to this event.
Event Four: Fair Trade Film Night – Black Gold
Our final event for Fairtrade Fortnight was a cosy film night, with fair trade hot chocolate (thanks to Trade Aid) and delicious fair trade baking from our wonderful Eco Volunteer team, with bananas supplied by All Good Bananas!
We hung out on some beanbags and watched the 2006 film Black Gold (directed by Nick and Marc Francis), an eye opening documentary on the history of the coffee industry in Ethiopia – the birthplace of coffee. We followed the journey of an Ethiopian coffee farmer from the coffee plantations to London and Seattle as he fights for the 74,000 struggling coffee farmers in his coffee co-operative, Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union (OFCFU) to receive a fair price for the coffee they produce.
Reviews and acclaim:
|Remarkable – A moving but scandalous story. Black Gold has extraordinary power”||DAILY TELEGRAPH|
|Poetic and hard-hitting critique of the global coffee industry… Beautifully shot and edited”||WASHINGTON POST|
|After watching Nick and Marc Francis’ film Black Gold, you might want to add an extra shot of conscience to your cup.”||LONDON EVENING STANDARD|
|Gorgeously-shot… Black Gold shows that improving human rights can sometimes be as simple as paying more for your morning coffee.”||Film Critic|
We ended the film night with a discussion about fair trade coffee, and by remembering the enormous power we have as consumers. By choosing to purchase fair trade coffee (and other commodities such as tea, chocolate and sugar) we make a huge positive impact to the lives of the farmers, growers, and their families. We learnt that since this film, OCFCU has been recognised as guaranteed fair trade with WFTO, and is one of the co-operatives that Trade Aid has partnered with to import their beans into NZ. Even better: the roaster that supplies all the UCSA cafes on campus (Common Good Coffee) uses OCFCU’s beans in their blend! A pretty amazing connection to be found… right under our nose!
Have we convinced you to check it out yet? Watch the trailer here. The good news – you can get the DVD out from UC’s central library!
Learn more about the OCFCU and their story here.
We had a fantastic fortnight celebrating all things fair trade and ethical on campus, and we can’t wait to do it again next year! Thanks to our fair trade supporters, sponsors, suppliers, our wonderful volunteers, and all of those who came along to our Fairtrade Fortnight events on campus.