University of Victoria Named Canada's 31st Fair Trade Campus

Victoria, BC | February 21, 2018. The University of Victoria is now officially a Fair Trade Campus.  The Canadian Fair Trade Network presented the designation certificate at an event at BiblioCafé on Feb. 21. The celebration coincided with UVic’s Love-A-Mug Week, an annual campaign to reduce the consumption of single-use coffee cups on campus.

The Fair Trade Campus designation is a reflection of UVic’s strong commitment to sustainability, as outlined in the Sustainability Action Plan: Campus Operations 2014-2019.

“Achieving the designation has been a collaborative campus-wide effort”, says Jim Forbes, director of campus services. “The Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability, University Food Services, the UVic Students’ Society and other student groups have all worked together towards this important goal.”

Student groups Engineers Without Borders -UVic Chapter and the University of Victoria Sustainability Movement hosted fair trade education and awareness events over the past two years in the lead-up to official designation.

“UVic has been a fair trade-friendly campus for many years, stocking certified products like coffee, tea and chocolate, so it feels great to officially recognize those practices with this designation,” says Susan Kerr, sustainability coordinator.

UVic supports sustainable purchasing by carrying fair trade products in all campus food outlets, including Doi Chaang Coffee, Kicking Horse Coffee, ReSIProcate Coffee, Numi teas and Alter Eco chocolate.

UVic’s Fair Trade Steering Committee, comprised of staff and students, focuses on increasing the availability of fair trade products from Vancouver Island, and promoting fair trade as part of the campus sustainability culture.

UVic maintains a gold rating with the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), the second highest-rated university in Canada, and was recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers in 2017.

The Canadian Fair Trade Network is a national non-profit education and advocacy organization that supports the grassroots fair trade movement and fosters the fair trade business community.

“Buying fair trade products sometimes seems like a small thing that each of us can do each day, but in reality it is an important decision that can make a world of difference for those producing. To name a few impacts, it means stable pricing, technical support and training, and community and economic development. When an entire university therefore commits to offering fair trade products, the impact can be huge. Thank you UVic for all your hard work and support over the past years and congratulations on such a wonderful achievement” Torrye McKenzie, Program Manager, Canadian Fair Trade Network.

"We're delighted to announce the first Fair Trade Program designation on Vancouver Island, with the University of Victoria today becoming our 31st Fair Trade Campus. With Fairtrade options across campus, the 22,000+ students and staff of UVic are able to support farmers and workers in the Global South with their daily purchases. Congratulations to everyone on the team who worked to achieve this designation." Julie Francoeur, Executive Director, Fairtrade Canada

"Congratulations to the University of Victoria for becoming Canada's 31st Fair Trade Campus! Thanks to your involvement in the fair trade movement, you are making a true positive impact in the lives of farmers and workers in the Global South who benefit from fair and sustainable prices and better working conditions, along with community development projects funded through the fair trade premium." Loïc de Fabritus, Project Manager, Association québécoise du commerce équitable

Learn more about Fair Trade and UVic: