Memorial University of Newfoundland Named Canada’s 19th Fair Trade Campus

St John's, NL | September 28, 2016. As the cornerstone event of Fair Trade Campus week 2016, Memorial University of Newfoundland celebrated their new designation as Canada’s 19th Fair Trade Campus.

“It’s great that student groups pushed for Fair Trade products on campus and that we are able to bring together the people required to make this designation a reality.  The Sustainability Office looks forward to supporting and promoting the program.” – Toby Rowe, Sustainability Co-ordinator, Memorial University.

Rex Coffin, Director of Ancillary Operations at Memorial University’s St. John’s campus, is proud to be the latest Canadian university to become a Fair Trade Designated Campus. “We now join numerous other campuses that are demonstrating leadership in fair trade, and continue our focus on sustainable initiatives,” said Mr. Coffin. “I am pleased to say that Fair Trade coffee, teas and chocolate are available in various locations across campus, including the residence dining hall, Aramark operated retail locations, the Attic, Bitters, and is also an available option at Treats”

"After working over two years on becoming a Fair Trade Campus, I am happy to finally see this come together and be a reality and no longer just a dream that EWB had. I am ecstatic that people want to know about Fair Trade, and are willing to support this initiative" – Bethany Roberts, Fair Trade Lead, EWB MUN

Humble beginnings

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) has been a long-time supporter of Fair Trade on campus. The student club has raised awareness about Fair Trade through coffee club, participation in Reverse Trick or Treating, and school outreach presentations.

A number of organizations and clubs have been involved over the years, but real change happened when the university adopted the recommendations of EWB and Memorial University’s Student Union (MUNSU) to make it mandatory that future food service providers would have to meet the Fair Trade Campus requirements, in which all companies placing a bid complied, which ultimately was won by Aramark.

With the University, the food service provider, EWB and MUNSU onboard, change happened quickly at MUN, which finalized in the coming together of the committee and subsequently the completing and submitting of the application. This is just the beginning for MUN, as the students, faculty and staff are looking forward to seeing where they can take things from here.

Becoming a Fair Trade Designated Campus means a great deal to this university. Fair Trade means that we are contributing to building a better world through our purchasers. As a University, it’s a very proud day to be able to say we are supporting farmers around the world.

“It's a step in the right direction towards more equitable food systems, it brings food supply chains into the campus conversation, I feel better about the coffee and tea I drink, it's great for MUN's image!” – Alycia, student at MUN.

“Being a fair trade campus means standing up for what's right. It means spreading awareness and giving people the opportunity to easily and simply make a choice that has real effects for those not able to bargain better wages for themselves. It's about putting ethics and a moral code above the dollar.” – Neil, student at MUN.

“Each and every day we enjoy the fruits of other people’s labour; producers of coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar and the various products that we enjoy daily work hard so that we can enjoy that perfect cup. The Fair Trade Campus Program is about recognizing that effort and ensuring that producers get paid fairly for their efforts. It is exciting to see MUN join the ranks of Canadian universities making a difference in the world through the products it purchases, congratulations to all involved” – Sean McHugh, Executive Director, Canadian Fair Trade Network.

“Memorial University’s Fair Trade Campus designation is big news for the Canadian fair trade movement. I’m very excited that the movement is growing in Atlantic Canada and I look forward to continuing to work with the dedicated folks at Memorial. Congratulations and thank you for your commitment.” – Mélissa Dubé, Outreach Manager, Fairtrade Canada.