If you haven’t already heard, it’s Fairtrade Fortnight from 29 Feb – 9 March! QMUL is a Fairtrade accredited University, so we’re planning some great offers and activities to get you thinking about Fairtrade over the next 2 weeks. This blog post provides you with all the information about Fairtrade, and how you can celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight!
What is Fairtrade?
Living in a globalised and consumer-driven society, the origin of the products we buy can be highly ambiguous. Everyday products like sugar and chocolate can be transported thousands of miles from where they were grown, and passed through a complex supply chain before they reach the shelves. In this context, it can be difficult for consumers to determine whether farmers and growers have been paid fairly for their efforts, or that their working conditions are fair and ethical.
Fairtrade is an accreditation applied to products demonstrating that those growing the raw materials for your product have been paid fairly, and work in good conditions. You can find out more about the Fairtrade mission and story here.
QMUL’s status as a Fairtrade University
So what does it mean when we say QMUL is a Fairtrade University?
Fundamentally, it demonstrates that our organisation is committed to providing students and staff with products which support fair and ethical supply chains. This applies to both food and products available in QMUL and QMSU outlets. We aim to continually maximise the number of these products on sale, and promote these to our customers.
This is not simply a verbal commitment. Every other year QMUL and QMSU go through a strict assessment process to determine whether we can keep our Fairtrade accredited status. This involved submitting evidence of Fairtrade sales, promotions and activities on campus. We’re continually reviewing what we’re doing in order to maximise the uptake of Fairtrade products on campus.
So what is QMUL doing to support Fairtrade Fortnight in 2016?
This year we’re promoting Fairtrade as one of the key parts of QMUL’s Green Mary Week. We’re holding events, giving away Fairtrade products, and running lots of offers on Fairtrade products on sale. Details will be on display across QMUL and QMSU’s venues, but you can see a summary in the poster below.
We’re also encouraging students and staff to host their own events. The Fairtrade Foundation has loads of inspiration, as well as a campaign pack for anyone looking to promote Fairtrade. Download them here.
What can I do to support Fairtrade?
Supporting Fairtrade is really easy. Fairtrade products are available in stores nationwide, and often are priced the same as “normal” products. For example, much of Cadbury’s chocolate range is Fairtrade accredited. Likewise, Sainsbury’s own brand bananas, sugar, tea, and many of their spices and coffees are accredited.
At QMUL we have lots of Fairtrade products on sale. You can buy Fairtrade coffee in our cafes and restaurants, Fairtrade snacks are on sale at all of our outlets, and you can even buy Fairtrade QMUL clothing! Check out the range here.
The most important thing is to not assume that a product has an ethical supply chain just because it’s marketed as having sustainable credentials. If you want to be sure, look for the Fairtrade symbol displayed on the product label: