Fairtrade at the University of St Andrews
What is Fairtrade?
Fair trade is a growing, international movement working to ensure that producers in poor countries get a fair deal. This means a fair price for their goods (one that covers the cost of production and guarantees a sustainable living); long-term contracts which provide real security; and, for many, support to gain the knowledge and skills that they need to develop their businesses and increase sales.
We can all make socially responsible choices. Just think of all the tea, coffee and chocolate you consume in a week. By purchasing products with the Fairtrade Mark (image above) you can play a significant role in improving the trading conditions of the most disadvantaged producers.
How do I know if I'm buying fair trade products?
The Fairtrade Mark provides an independent guarantee to consumers that farmers in developing countries get a fair deal for their products. Products currently covered by the Mark are coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, honey, bananas, sugar, orange juice, and mangoes. The Fairtrade Mark is also present where any of these products are the key ingredient in another product, for example, snack bars.
Other products may also have been ethically traded, but cannot display the Fairtrade Mark as they have not yet received certification from the Fairtrade Foundation. In this instance, if the business is registered with, and listed on, the ethical networks World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), or The British Association for Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS), the products will be labelled as "fairly traded” instead.
The University has held its Fairtrade University Status since 2006, demonstrating its commitment to the goals set out by the Fairtrade Foundation:
- Both the University and the Students’ Association have adopted Fairtrade Policies (Updated Fairtrade Policy 2018 (PDF, 193 KB) , Students' Association's Fairtrade Policy 2018 (PDF, 65 KB)).
- Fairtrade products including coffee, chocolate, and clothing are sold in University retail outlets
- Fairtrade products are served at University meetings and conferences
- Regular events and campaigns are run to raise awareness about Fairtrade, including Fairtrade Fortnight
- The University has an active staff-student Fairtrade University Steering Group (FUSG)
- The FUSG conducts research on Fairtrade amongst its staff and students to inform its Fairtrade actions. The most recent survey was conducted in January 2020 (Fairtrade University Survey Report 2020 (PDF, 851 KB))
- Students are encouraged to conduct formal research on Fairtrade/fair trade/ethical consumption. A list of project ideas are available from www.transitionsta.org/available-projects. Alternatively, students can work with the FUSG to implement their own research ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Fairtrade at the University, please view the 2019 Annual Fairtrade Progress Report prepared by the FUSG: Fairtrade University Progress Report 2019 (PDF, 2,120 KB)
St Andrews achieved Fairtrade Town Status on St Andrews Day in 2005. The St Andrews Fairtrade Town Campaign also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, and maintains the St Andrews Fairtrade Directory to help you find out which cafés, restaurants and retailers stock Fairtrade goods.
Five simple ways to get involved in Fairtrade at the University:
- Choose to buy Fairtrade products, and encourage others to do so
- Join the staff-student Fairtrade steering group (Fairtrade Steering Group Constitution (PDF, 394 KB)) (email: email@example.com to find out more)
- Attend our Fairtrade events, or host your own – we can help promote them!
- Attend events run by the St Andrews Fairtrade Town Campaign
- Follow Fairtrade in St Andrews on Facebook and share our posts
Join us as we celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 2020 with a host of events for all ages and interests: