Friday, 20 May 2011

First Fair Trade University Campus…

After a night of traditional student - partying, coffee is an essential morning wake-up fix to kick-start a day of studying and lectures. In the Canadian University of British Columbia, the students can feel smug as they drink their caffeine. Why? Because the University of British Columbia is the first Fairtrade campus in the country.

Fairtrade is an organisation that promotes fair trading conditions for local farmers and producers in disadvantaged countries and also often contributes towards improving the amenities in the communities in which they live. The Fairtrade certification mark can appear on many products, such as coffee and cocoa.

The Canadian city of Vancouver has just been recognised as a Fairtrade City – the Canadians are quick off the mark to promote this ethical form of trade. The University has a history of supporting farmers by selling products such as chocolate, tea and coffee at their restaurants and cafes which have the 'Fairtrade' ethic, including selling Fairtrade coffee over the past 10 years.

The University now tries to increase the sale of Fairtrade products wherever possible (although this commitment does not include the franchises on campus). The national Fairtrade organisation asks that the University sells only Fairtrade coffee and offers at least three of the Fairtrade teas and one chocolate bar. The University also sells Fairtrade fruit, but no catering equipment

Other universities are also impressed by the ethical progress made by the University of British Columbia. In fact, UBS is one of a hundred universities worldwide to have made this move.

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