University of Calgary Designated Canada’s 10th Fair Trade Campus!

September 21, 2015 | Calgary, Alberta. Kicking off Fair Trade Campus week celebrations across Canada, the University of Calgary leads the way and sets a high bar by becoming officially designated Alberta’s first and Canada’s tenth Fair Trade Campus!

An event was held in the university’s Sustainability Resource Centre, which celebrated the new designation, where a certificate was delivered commemorating this achievement. Students, faculty and staff were in attendance, sampling Fairtrade products like coffee and chocolate, and engaging in discussion on Fairtrade. Engineers Without Borders (EWB), the student club that initiated Fairtrade at the university, held a trivia spin-the-wheel activity for a chance to win a Fairtrade soccer ball.

The process of becoming a Fair Trade Campus was initiated three years ago by student members of EWB wanting to provide fellow campus members with the option to purchase products that change lives. EWB devoted many hours to educating the campus about how Fairtrade products support fair wages, strengthen communities, prohibit child and forced labour, conserve the environment and empower farmers and workers in the Global South. EWB also took the initiative to partner with Food and Conference Services and the Office of Sustainability to expand availability of Fairtrade products through campus vendors. Various events were held and continue to be held including Waffle Wednesdays, where waffles are served using Fairtrade ingredients, Fairtrade Fridays, where coffee is served amidst discussion about Fairtrade, as well as documentary and speaker events.

The University of Calgary supports the growing movement of Fairtrade and is proud to incorporate it into daily campus activities. Fairtrade not only provides better wages and working conditions for the farmers and workers who produce the goods we purchase, but it acts as a tool for all those on campus to distinguish which products have positive and sustainable impacts on the world. By educating the university campus about Fairtrade and changing the way we do business, the university can graduate consumers who make conscious choices for the better.

Keon Ma and Linda Zhao, both student representatives on the university’s Fair Trade Campus Steering Committee and members of the UCalgary chapter of EWB believe, “The announcement of the Fair Trade Campus designation for the University of Calgary acknowledges the unrelenting efforts of many individuals. We are ecstatic to be part of a new chapter of advocacy on behalf of artisans and farmers who rely on fair wages to make a living. We hope that through support from administration and this Fair Trade Campus designation, we will be able to change the culture on campus, one student at a time.”

“It’s with great pleasure that today we get to celebrate the designation of the University of Calgary as Canada’s tenth Fair Trade Campus. The university has been focused on achieving this for some time now, and has worked hard to meet, and in many cases exceed, the standards. A congratulations is in order to everyone who has been involved at the University for a job well done. I personally look forward to building upon this milestone for years to come,” Sean McHugh, Executive Director, Canadian Fair Trade Network.

“This commitment translates into real positive change for the lives of farmers, families and their communities in the Global South. Congratulations to all involved for your dedicated work towards this meaningful designation.” Hugues Tshibemba, Executive Director, Fairtrade Canada.

The University of Calgary becomes the first Designated Fair Trade Campus in Alberta and the tenth in Canada. Learn more at: http://cftn.ca/fair-trade-campus-program


Contact information:

Jill Blackie, University of Calgary
jmblacki@ucalgary.ca | 1.403.220.2242
 
Sean McHugh, Executive Director, Canadian Fair Trade Network
sean@cftn.ca | 1.604.785.0084
 
Mélissa Dubé, Outreach Coordinator, Fairtrade Canada
melissa.dube@fairtrade.ca | 1.613.563.3351
 
Éric St-Pierre, Co-President, Association québécoise du commerce équitable
eric@ericstpierre.ca | 1.514.249.2717