De Montfort University became a Fairtrade University in March of 2010 and has now been a Fairtrade University for 6 years. In order to become a Fairtrade University the student union and the university had to achieve 5 goals. You can read the goals by following this link: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/documents/about-dmu-documents/dmu-estate/environmental/fairtradepolicydmu2.pdf
Being a Fairtrade University ultimately means that staff and students who purchase products on site are contributing to and supporting the Fairtrade movement led and co-ordinated by the Fairtrade Foundation.
The university sells a large number of Fairtrade products in shops on campus and uses Fairtrade ingredients in all food made on site; all the sugar that is used on campus for baking is Fairtrade sugar, and the coffee sold on level 1 of the campus centre is puro Fairtrade coffee. You can find these Fairtrade products sold around campus at the following sites…
- Coffee Lab– Fletcher Building and Kimberlin Library
- Cafe Del Marche– Campus Centre Building
- Students Union Level 1 –Campus Centre Building
- Students Union Shop– Campus Centre Building
- Oasis Café– Hugh Aston building
In order to show that De Montfort University is continuing to promote Fairtrade and continues to meet the 5 goals of being a Fairtrade University, the university must submit information to the Fairtrade Foundation to evidence how it is doing this.
The university has recently renewed its’ Fairtrade Status, and have just recently been re-accredited by the Fairtrade Foundation as a Fairtrade University! The university will therefore continue to support the improvement of the standards of workers around the world by using Fairtrade ingredients and raising awareness for the cause!
What Is Fairtrade?
‘There are over 1.4 million farmers and workers in 1,140 producer organisations across the Fairtrade system’ Fairtrade Foundation
Fairtrade is simply, fair trading. The Fairtrade Foundation, the organisation behind the Fairtrade Mark, focuses on social, economic and environmental development and aims to ensure growth in countries which supply Fairtrade produce and ensures that farmers are paid fairly for their work and have more control over their own lives.
The organisation was established in 1992 by CAFOD and has been going for 22 years now.
Fairtrade also works with other partner organisations to license the use of the Fairtrade mark; this mark shows that the product complies with Fairtrade standards. The basic Fairtrade key objectives of the standards are:
- ensure that producers receive prices that cover their average costs of sustainable production;
- provide an additional Fairtrade Premium which can be invested in projects that enhance social, economic and environmental development;
- enable pre-financing for producers who require it;
- facilitate long-term trading partnerships and enable greater producer control over the trading process;
- set clear core and development criteria to ensure that the conditions of production and trade of all Fairtrade certified products are socially, economically fair and environmentally responsible.
You can find more information about Fairtrade standards by following this link: http://www.fairtrade.net/standards.html
The partners working with Fairtrade have links in the same pool but also do a lot of other great work separate to the organisation, below are just a number of the partner organisations
Why is Fairtrade important
The work that the Fairtrade Foundation does puts power in the hands of people, helping to give farmers the ability to sustain themselves and their families and have food security.
If you see the Fairtrade mark, as shown above, this means it has been sourced from small scale farmers and plantations that meet the Fairtrade standards
‘The standards include protection of workers’ rights and the environment, payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community projects.’
Find out where to buy Fairtrade products by clicking here: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/buying-fairtrade
The Fairtrade organisation has a very transparent approach to how they work. You can check out the pricing information for Fairtrade items here: http://www.fairtrade.net/standards/price-and-premium-info.html
Leicester is a Fairtrade City!
Leicester became the second Fairtrade city in Britain in 2002; a 5 year manifesto was put together to ensure standards are kept up. You can check out Leicester City’s 5 year manifesto here: https://thelivinglabiesd.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/leicester_fairtrade_5year_manifesto.pdf
The main aim was to ensure food that comes in to the city is of good standards.
Fairtrade Fortnight is a campaign that runs over the course of 2 weeks annually, this 2016 it ran from the 29th February until the 13th March and engages communities and groups with the Fairtrade movement.
Although the fortnight lasts only 2 weeks, it is still important to give thought to those who produced the food that we buy and eat.
Martin Luther King famously said ‘Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world’.
Just Fairtrade is a shop in Leicester city centre; it was originally set up by Sarah and ran as a pop up shop for 5 years until they eventually moved into a rented facility to become a permanent business. Just Fairtrade has since been up and running for 15 years and will be celebrating 20 years as an organisation in the coming year!
The shop are predominantly made up of volunteers, with only 2 or 3 people being paid a full wage, and the main organiser Sarah, working full time as a volunteer. (You can find more information about the team here: http://justfairtrade.com/what-we-do/the-team/) The main driving force for the business is not the income, but in fact raising awareness about Fairtrade, in turn Just do lots of work with schools to help raise awareness amongst young people.
The items sold at the Just store are shipped in by a family business based in Market Harborough. The majority of materials sold are from southern countries such as India and Africa.
Alongside raising awareness here, Just also do a lot of work with communities in the countries where the products are made, to teach about how to sell in countries like England and the British consumer buying needs and habits, this helps the communities to create items which can be properly directed towards their target audiences.
Many of the items sold at the shop exist as a one off, so if you find you come across something that you like, snatch up the opportunity to make it yours before someone else does, as it may not come into stock again!
Just have numerous events going on throughout the year that are open to all; during the Fairtrade Fortnight, they hosted an Olive farmer named Mohammed Hamada who spoke about his experience of fair trade in Palestine.
People of all ages who are seeking experience/ voluntary work, can get in touch with Just Fairtrade who will be happy to have the help and to help you!
See their website, and follow them on Twitter and Facebook for more information.
Stand up for farmers when you sit down for breakfast!
Rebecca Mason, Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner at De Montfort University.