Public Institution Procurement
Public procurement is a powerful tool for public institutions to increase the demand of sustainable products and services.
Purchasers can use Fair Trade as a practical way to progressively make their public purchasing in line with the SDGs. Fair Trade offers better trading conditions for, and secures the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Trading terms offered by Fair Trade buyers enable producers and workers to maintain a sustainable livelihood which not only meets day-to-day needs for economic, social and environmental well-being but that also enables improved conditions in the future.
What can public institutions do?
- Introduce a Fair Trade public procurement policy, which:
- Mandates the use of Fair Trade products in offices and all management food service outlets. Consider including public festivals, fairs, and other local initiatives
- Contains commitments for specific Fair Trade products and timescales
- States how the commitment to Fair Trade will be enforced and how relevant staff will be given appropriate training
- Create a local taskforce for sustainable procurement that includes experts on Fair Trade, but also international social justice, local employment, inclusion, environment and climate, local economic development, and procurement to ensure a holistic approach to sustainable development in the procurement policy.
- Partner with local Fair Trade actors (producers, organizations and/or civil society) to organize awareness raising and capacity building initiatives that encourage and assist procurers to include Fair Trade criteria in procurement.
- Join networks that promote sustainable public procurement to stay up-to-date on examples of good practice and policy initiatives that support sustainable procurement and Fair Trade
- Examples in Canada
- Simon Fraser University Ethical Procurement Policy
- University of British Columbia Sustainable Purchasing Guide
- Organizations/Programs working on Sustainable Public Procurement
- STARS (ASHE) - self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure sustainability performance
- Fairtrade Canada - fairtrade certification
- Meal Exchange Good Food Challenge - sustainable, socially just, humane and healthy campus food systems
- Food Secure Canada - pan-Canadian alliance advancing food security through zero hunger, healthy and safe food, and sustainable food systems
- Farm to Cafeteria Canada - local, healthy, sustainable foods at public institutions
- World University Services of Canada - ethical purchasing organization
- World Vision - ethical purchasing organization
- Nourish - health care facility foodservice purchasing
- Forest Stewardship Council - standards for responsibly managed forests
- Marine Stewardship Council - standards for sustainably sourced seafood