On Feb. 15, Carleton University received a Fair Trade Campus Designation. A ceremony was attended by Ed Kane, assistant-vice-president (University Services), members of the Carleton Fair Trade steering committee and representatives from Fairtrade Canada.
“This designation is part of our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement in Dining Services and across campus,” said Kane. “Our students told us through surveys that they wanted more fair trade options available on campus. As a result, we have changed our purchasing policies around coffee, tea and some chocolate snacks.”
The impact of this responsive approach was noted by Jane Skapinker, registered dietitian with Dining Services. “We are excited to see this fantastic collaboration of students, Dining Services, CUSA, and administration come to fruition as a response to our community’s strong belief and demand for social responsibility and using food as a vehicle to make responsible purchasing decisions,” said Skapinker.
A Fair Trade Campus designation recognizes that the university supports fairer conditions and better prices for people who grow and make products in the global south. Carleton has committed to purchasing fair trade coffee, tea and a selection of chocolate at all of its non-franchise locations, as well as through the university’s catering services.
“Every purchasing decision that we make has an impact on the world, collectively those impacts affect people’s lives around the world daily,” said Sean McHugh, executive director of the Canadian Fair Trade Network. “By becoming a Fair Trade Campus, Carleton has said that it wants those impacts to be positive in nature, which is inspiring.”
The importance of Carleton’s Fair Trade commitment and its wide-reaching effects was echoed by Mélissa Dubé, outreach manager with Fairtrade Canada.
“It has been great to witness the commitment and the passion that the team involved demonstrated throughout the process,” noted Dubé. “Accomplishments like this designation contribute to a better deal for fair trade farmers and their communities of the global south.”
About the Fair Trade Campus Program
The Fair Trade Campus is a program of Fairtrade Canada, managed in partnership with CFTN and the Association québécoise du commerce équitable (AQCÉ). It recognizes colleges, CEGEPs and universities demonstrating strong commitment to fair trade from its stakeholders, including administration, food service providers, and student unions and associations.