This week is Fair Trade Campus Week and Brock University is celebrating by becoming Canada’s sixth Fair Trade Campus – second in Ontario after Guelph – to be designated by Fairtrade Canada.
The campus designation was made possible by the hard work of the Brock Fair Trade Club student group, and the University’s and Brock University Students’ Union’s (BUSU) food services operators.
“We’re thrilled to get the Fair Trade Campus designation,” says Anneka Bosse, co-president of Brock Fair Trade. “It’s proof that all of our hard work is paying off.”
As part of Fair Trade Campus Week at Brock, information tables featuring fair-trade bananagrams will be on display in the Guernsey Market and BUSU’s General Brock Store will also be hosting giveaways all week long.
On Wednesday, Sept. 25. at 2 p.m., in the Collabratorium, there will be a free screening of the documentary Black Gold, which follows the efforts of an Ethiopian coffee union manager as he travels the world to obtain a better price for his workers’ coffee beans.
And on Thursday, Sept. 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Brock Fair Trade Club will host a ‘Play Fair’ coffee house in the Guernsey Market where a ceremony will take place to formally recognize the University’s Fair Trade Campus designation.
“This week is about spreading awareness about fair trade and showcasing the leadership of Canadian universities in making changes to their procurement policies,” says Sean McHugh, Executive Director, Canadian Fair Trade Network. “The Fair Trade Campus Program is about emphasizing the role that institutions can play, and the long-term and large-scale impacts that these decisions can have.”
Initiated by Brock students Anneka Bosse and Charissa DiMarco in 2011, the Brock Fair Trade club was created to raise awareness and educate the Brock community on fair trade issues at the University and in Niagara.
“We had been involved in the Fair Trade club at our high school, and we wanted to do something with Fair Trade at Brock as well,” says DiMarco. “When we found out that there was no Fair Trade club at Brock, we decided to start Brock Fair Trade.”
In order to meet Fairtrade Canada’s standards for Fair Trade Campus designation, Bosse and DiMarco worked with the University and students’ union in three main areas: availability, visibility and committee.
In terms of availability, the group had to ensure that Fair Trade certified (FTC) coffee, tea and chocolate bar options are available at all food outlets under direct control of the institution and its students’ union. For visibility, signs have been posted and educational info on Fair Trade has been made available wherever FTC products are sold on campus. And a Brock Fair Trade Committee has been created as a sub-group of the University’s Sustainability Co-ordinating Committee to monitor, measure and report on compliance with Fair Trade Campus standards.
“Both the University and BUSU staff were incredibly helpful in our journey,” adds Bosse. “They were very accommodating and willing to put everything in place to help us reach our goal. I look forward to working with them in the future to get more Fair Trade certified products available on campus.”
“This is a great example of Brock students and administration working together to help foster a socially- and environmentally-responsible campus,” says Tom Saint-Ivany, Associate Vice-President, Facilities Management, and chair of the Sustainability Co-ordinating Committee. “Sustainability is one of our core values here at Brock, and we look forward to working with the Brock Fair Trade Club and BUSU to help raise awareness about Fair Trade issues at the University.
Where to find Fair Trade products at Brock
- Sir Isaac Brock Blend (Guernsey Market, Alphie’s Bistro, Residence, C-Block, Cairns Complex, Noodles)
- Badger Brew (General Brock Store)
- Plus extra from independently operated businesses on campus: one Fair Trade Starbucks option (Daily Grind Café, Student-Alumni Centre) and two Fair Trade Seattle’s Best options (Common Grounds, Matheson Learning Commons)
- Numi Tea (Guernsey Market, General Brock Store, Alphie’s Bistro, Residence, C-Block, Cairns Complex, Noodles)
- Dairy Milk (General Brock Store, Union Station, Walker Food Court, vending machines)
- Camino (Campus Store, vending machines)
What is fair trade?
Fair trade is a market-based system that uses informed consumer support to influence international trade and business practices toward greater social and environmental sustainability. As a response to conventional trade systems, which have very often contributed to poverty and poor working conditions within developing countries, fair trade aims to build an alternative approach based on mutually beneficial relationships between producers and consumers.
Brock Fair Trade and its volunteer efforts is supported by OPIRG-Brock.
To get involved: www.YourBrock.org/FairTrade