Fairtrade Canada recognized Trent University as Canada's eighth Fair Trade Campus, announced the designation during a celebration at Trent’s Gzowski College on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. The designation acknowledges Trent's commitment to sourcing Fairtrade certified products for campus services and for the University’s ongoing efforts to spread awareness about fair trade issues among students and staff. Trent joins a growing number of Canadian institutions that have aligned social and environmental sustainability targets with purchasing, policy and education.
“Achieving this milestone underscores what Trent strives to be: a sustainable and collaborative campus, an advocate for social change, and having the interests of its students at heart,” said Laura Storey, director of housing and chair of the Fair Trade Committee at Trent University. “Issues around food, fair trade and sustainability have been at the forefront of our campus over the last few years. In response, the Fair Trade Committee has worked hard to gain this status.”
The designation represents a strong collaborative effort by Trent students, faculty and administration. Jesse Whattam, an International Development Studies student at Trent and a member of Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) Peterborough, is a member of the Fair Trade Committee, a body formed to ensure future compliance with the fair trade campus requirements. “I am proud of Trent University for receiving this designation. Many students and faculty have worked really hard for this and I think getting here really shows the power of social movements,” Ms. Whattam said. “I am excited to see Trent continue to challenge the unfair elements of international trade and push for the social, economic and ecological goals of Fairtrade.”
The Fair Trade Campus program is managed by Fairtrade Canada in co-operation with the Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN). The program recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate a strong commitment to fair trade, and encourages ethical procurement that aligns with the growing demand for socially responsible products and provides a long-term vision for awareness and support on campus and in their surrounding communities. In working with food suppliers to arrange for Fairtrade certified products to be sold on campus, Trent and other designated universities ensure that their campus economies are supporting the work of producers in developing communities around the world.