January 27, 2015
– The University of Northern British Columbia is now a Fair Trade Campus.
“The Fair Trade Campus designation is the latest example of UNBC’s ongoing commitment to sustainability,” says UNBC President Daniel Weeks. “Ensuring that products consumed at UNBC are ethically sourced and socially responsible is something the entire university community can take pride in achieving and we will celebrate this designation during the upcoming 2015 Canada Winter Games.”
In order to earn the designation, UNBC students, faculty, and staff worked together to meet Fairtrade Canada’s procurement standards regarding the price, labour conditions, and environmental sustainability of products consumed and sold on campus. As part of the process, all of the campus food partners – Chartwells, Ancillary Services, the Thirsty Moose Pub, and Degrees Coffee – incorporated Fairtrade products into their offerings.
“The effort that students at the University put into the designation of Fair Trade Campus is recognized as part of a worldwide fair trade movement,” says Tom Smith, Executive Director, Fairtrade Canada. “This designation benefits the farmers, their families, and their communities that we serve.”
UNBC students Matthew Ewen and Torrye Mackenzie are among the group of students who worked to ensure the University met the standard. They both recently returned from an international Fair Trade conference in Montreal where they learned even more about the movement.
“Seeing the impact Fair Trade has on the producers and farmers in developing countries through companies like Ethical Bean was my first introduction to the concept,” says Ewen. “This quickly developed into expanding fair trade at UNBC through coffee, tea, and chocolate.”
As Canada’s Green University, UNBC is a leader in developing innovative sustainability projects.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off 2015, then by formerly recognizing the leadership shown by the University of Northern British Columbia,” says Sean McHugh, Executive Director, Canadian Fair Trade Network. “UNBC’s commitment to sustainability joins a growing effort around the world, to build a better, more sustainable and more just world.”