Sept. 21, 2015
University becomes first designated Fair Trade Campus in Alberta
The University of Calgary is now a Fair Trade Campus, becoming the first post-secondary institution in Alberta and the 10th in Canada to receive the designation from Fairtrade Canada. Campus members are invited to attend a celebratory event at the Sustainability Resource Centre (SRC) in Science B from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday to learn more and to enjoy some free samples of fair trade products.
Becoming a Fair Trade Campus was initiated three years ago by students in the University of Calgary chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) who wanted to provide fellow campus members with the option to purchase products that change lives.
To achieve the designation and ensure continued commitment, EWB formed a steering committee comprised of student volunteers and staff members in Food and Conference Services and the Office of Sustainability. Through this committee, EWB was also able to ensure Fairtrade-certified products such as coffee, tea and chocolate are offered at all food service locations under the university's control including those operated by the university's caterers and food service companies such as Aramark.
EWB has also devoted many hours to increasing visibility and education to help educate the campus about how buying fair trade supports fair wages, strengthens communities, prohibits child and forced labour, conserves the environment, and empowers farmers and workers in the Global South. They have held, and continue to hold, many events and activities ranging from documentary nights and speaker events to educational booths with free fair trade product samples.
Keep an eye out for many of these events, which will be held at the SRC this week as part of Fair Trade Campus week. Events will include a Waffle Wednesday, where free waffles made with Fairtrade ingredients will be served and Fairtrade Friday, where Fairtrade coffee will be served alongside a trivia game for a chance to win various Fairtrade prizes.
Keon Ma and Linda Zhao, both student representatives on the Fair Trade Campus Steering Committee and members of the UCalgary chapter of EWB say, "The announcement of the Fair Trade Campus designation for the University of Calgary acknowledges the unrelenting efforts of many individuals. We are ecstatic to begin 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."
"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," says Hugues Tshibemba, executive director, Fairtrade Canada.
To learn more about upcoming Fairtrade events on campus visit the Engineers Without Borders' Facebook page.