Case Study: Bournemouth University

If you need ideas for your university or college’s Fairtrade campaign, take a look at what Bournemouth University and its team of students and staff have done for inspiration. 

Bournemouth University have consistently come up with great innovations and developments to keep their Fairtrade message fresh and engaging.

Since first achieving Fairtrade status in 2006, Bournemouth has produced high quality renewal applications year on year. Here’s a look at the type of things they do.

Fairtrade Policy

'At Bournemouth University we attach great importance to our role within the wider world, and we are committed to supporting, using and promoting Fairtrade products as a tangible way of demonstrating our global perspective.'

Bournemouth University

Bournemouth’s Fairtrade Policy is based on the five goals the Fairtrade Foundation asks for but has been developed to include more detailed, specific goals such as the importance of education in their campaign. In doing so, Bournemouth has set out a clear path to achieve their aims.

Bournemouth publishes its Fairtrade policy through the university website, intranet, the New Staff Induction Guide. It is promoted at events throughout the year, including at the Freshers’ Fair at the start of each year.

Products

Bournemouth currently stocks an extensive list of Fairtrade products, including snack bars, flapjacks, fruit juices, brownies, smoothies and Ubuntu cola.

It stocks clothing made from Fairtrade cotton including jogging bottoms, hoodies and graduation t-shirts. All cleaning staff at the university now wear Fairtrade cotton polo shirts, and more items are being trialled. This is an excellent way to take your Fairtrade campaign even further due to the ever-growing importance of cotton in the global textile industry. It is a great way for universities and colleges to make a difference to the lives of marginalised producers in the developing world.

Events and Campaigning

Bournemouth’s campaign holds a strong emphasis on raising awareness; educating students about what Fairtrade stands for, and the benefits of purchasing Fairtrade products.

Amanda Williams, Bournemouth University’s Environmental Officer, says: 'Fairtrade Fortnight events at Bournemouth are not about raising funds, they are about raising awareness of Fairtrade products; about decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.'

They get brilliant coverage of Fairtrade on the university website, the student e-news site, staff portal and the student newspaper, BUGLE. Articles such as ‘Have you tasted slavery?’ and ‘Fairtrade doesn’t have to be expensive’ highlight the misconception that Fairtrade is expensive compared to the alternatives as well as bringing their whole campaign to life.

Curriculum

Bournemouth University is committed to incorporating Fairtrade into the curriculum, and is an excellent example to other universities and colleges. The School of Tourism and particularly Bournemouth’s Business School have led the way. A number of modules now cover Fairtrade, and related topics, including globalisation and sustainable consumption. Some units go even further to explore in-depth the banana trade and coffee.

Incorporating Fairtrade into the curriculum is a fantastic way to get students and staff discussing and debating the issues surrounding the global trading system today, and how Fairtrade aims to overcome this.