Oct. 28, 2019

Fairtrade: A stamp of social, economic and environmental approval

Celebrate Fair Trade Campus Week Oct. 28 – Nov. 1
UCalgary Fairtrade
Take part in Fair Trade Campus Week Festivities Oct. 28 - Nov. 1. Photo courtesy of the Sustainable Resource Centre

You may have seen the Fairtrade symbol on a bag of coffee, a bar of chocolate or a box of tea and wondered what fairtrade really means. When it comes to distinguishing products that are meeting the highest social, economic and environmental standards, Fairtrade is the ultimate stamp of approval. That’s why from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, campuses across Canada are celebrating the Fairtrade movement and the importance of purchasing Fairtrade Certified products.

UCalgary will join the action by offering engaging events across its different locations. But before diving into the details, here are a few examples of how the UCalgary community has learned what Fairtrade means and our impact across campus.

Taylor Institute

The Taylor Institute (TI) has had meaningful conversations about Fairtrade as part of their efforts to make their office more inclusive, environmentally conscious and socially responsible. For them, Fairtrade is a holistic process closely tied to sustainability and climate action.

Through their efforts to earn badges in the Sustainable Offices Program, they have learned that Fairtrade benefits farmers and agricultural communities by enhancing education, providing them with appropriate technology and equipment, while ensuring they are paid living wages, making it possible for farmers to incorporate sustainable practices and processes into their daily operations.

Engineers Without Borders

The student-run Engineers Without Borders (EWB) has been raising awareness about campus Fairtrade since 2012. “Engineers Without Borders’ Fairtrade student venture has been a leader on campus for years in both promoting, as well as fighting, to dispel misinformation surrounding the topic of Fairtrade. This year will be no different, as the goal for our event during Fair Trade Campus Week is to showcase products that were generously donated to us from different Fairtrade partner companies,” says Nabeel Amjad, co-leader of the Engineers Without Borders Fair Trade Venture.

Thanks to The University of Calgary EWB chapter, UCalgary received its Fairtrade designation in 2015, making it the first Alberta post-secondary institution to receive Fairtrade designation. Since then, UCalgary has worked hard to exercise sustainable purchasing practices by increasing the availability of Fairtrade products and incorporating them into campus initiatives.

Fast forward to March 2019, and UCalgary was named Campus of the Year by Fairtrade Canada at the Canadian Fairtrade Awards.


Aramark, a key sponsor of UCalgary’s 2019 Fair Trade Campus Week, is another campus Fairtrade leader. “Aramark UCalgary is committed to upholding the university’s status as a designated Fairtrade Campus through the procurement and sale of many certified products, our two biggest areas of impact being coffee and tea,” says Megan Darragh, marketing manager, Aramark UCalgary.

So don’t miss out join UCalgary Sustainability, the TI, EWB and Aramark, and celebrate Fair Trade Week at any of the following events. Ethically sourced, edible giveaways from Divine Chocolate, Guyaki Yerba Mate, and Kicking Horse Coffee, as well as sustainable swag from Fairtrade Canada, will be handed out during the festivities.

Fair Trade Campus Week Schedule   

Monday, Oct. 28 (10 a.m. 2 p.m.), Fairtrade Booth at Foothills Campus
Monday, Oct 28 (5:30 – 6:30 p.m.), Fairtrade Booth at The Landing
Tuesday, Oct, 29 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.), Fairtrade Booth at the Sustainability Resource Centre (SB 101)
Wednesday, Oct. 30 (10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) Waffle Wednesday with EWB and Kicking Horse Coffee in SB 101
Wednesday, Oct. 30 (11 a.m. - noon), Aramark will be at Foothills Campus

If you can’t make it out to the events, don’t worry. There are plenty of other options to participate in Fair Trade Campus Week, including:

  • Sharing Fairtrade infographics, videos and pictures on social media with the hashtags #FTW19 and #UCalgarySustain. The campus with the most Twitter and/or Instagram posts using the #FTW19 hashtag will receive national recognition at the Canadian Fairtrade Awards, a $500 cash prize toward fair trade programming and will be crowned as the Campus Week All-Star.
  • Purchasing Fairtrade products wherever possible on UCalgary campuses, at home and at work.  
  • Keeping up-to-date with different Fairtrade campaigns.
  • Researching Fairtrade products and brands.
  • Having a conversation with your friends, peers or colleagues about the benefits of Fairtrade.

Learn more about UCalgary Fairtrade.

The University of Calgary’s Institutional Sustainability Strategy provides a road map for continuous improvement in our pursuit of excellence and leadership in sustainability. We aim to become a Canadian post-secondary education leader in sustainability in our academic and engagement programs, administrative and operational practices and through supporting community and industry in their aims for leadership in sustainability. Learn more about UCalgary’s leadership in sustainability.