Top tips for Fairtrade universities

Not sure where to start your campaign to achieve Fairtrade University or College status? Here are our top tips to get you started.

Top Tips

  • Sign up to our Universities and Colleges newsletter
  • Get support for your campaign – have a meeting, serve Fairtrade wine, juice and snacks and invite people to get involved. Don’t forget to involve representatives from all parts of your university or college – students, academic staff and support staff.
  • Publicise your events or campaign progress in your student paper or local press.
  • Get your Vice-Chancellor, Principal or senior staff to endorse your campaign.
  • Develop an action plan to work towards meeting the five goals
  • Set up a Facebook or Twitter page for your campaign and let everyone know what you are doing.
  • Order free resources or purchase merchandise to help promote your campaign.
  • Start collecting evidence for each of the five goals. Make a note of any events you organise and keep copies of all press coverage you generate.
  • If your application is successful, organise an event to celebrate so that everyone knows about your Fairtrade status. 
  • Declaring Fairtrade status is an important milestone but it is just the beginning. Plan ways to develop extend your Fairtrade campaign.

What YOU can do to help achieve Fairtrade status

I’m a student

Students are the leading force of campaigning on campus, and we have plenty of resources to help you set up your events. They are all available on our e-shop.

Here are some examples of events you could be organising:

  • A stunt during Fresher’s week or Fairtrade information packs for new students
  • Selling Fairtrade Roses for Valentine’s Day
  • A Fairtrade fashion show to help promote Fairtrade cotton
  • Fairtrade wine and beer tasting evenings
  • Film screenings
  • Competitions/Quizzes with a basket of Fairtrade goodies as a prize
  • Organising Fairtrade debates
  • Organising Fairtrade petitions or postcard signing campaigns

And much more!

In order to strengthen your campaign, you may want to consider getting in touch with other local Fairtrade initiatives in your area, such as Fairtrade Town groups or Fairtrade Schools. You may find this useful for sharing knowledge and ideas, and also for organising larger joint events in the future.

I’m part of the catering team

There are hundreds of different ways to source Fairtrade - from your catering partner to your wholesaler to your local supermarket or online. You can start by looking online at our National Fairtrade Purchasing Guide. If you can’t find what you’re looking for then also feel free to email commercial@fairtrade.org.uk 

I’m a lecturer

Incorporating Fairtrade theories and case studies into teaching adds an exciting and inspiring ingredient for students in a wide range of subjects.  It is a fantastic way to deepen understanding of the issues faced by farmers and workers in developing countries, consumers’ ethical purchasing decisions and the theory behind alternative business models.  

Fairtrade can be incorporated into such areas of curriculum as hospitality and procurement, economics, marketing, environmental studies and international development, among others. For instance:

Business and Management
For business and management related courses, Fairtrade companies and social enterprises provide fantastic case studies of ethical business models and corporate social responsibility.

Economics or Development
For economics or development students, Fairtrade represents a growing alternative model of trade, delivering real benefits and solutions to some of the market failures in conventional trade. Unpick the different aspects of Fairtrade, including stable prices, how producer organisations work, the effect on the environment and the implications of world trade rules and the World Trade Organisation.

Ethical Fashion
With a growing interest in ethical fashion and the availability of Fairtrade cotton, see our case study in the action guide for ideas of how Fairtrade is being incorporated into fashion design modules.

Catering
Chefs and catering students are in the perfect position to use the range of Fairtrade products available and learn about the social and environmental impacts of food sourcing decisions.

I’m an Environment and Sustainability Officer

Environment and sustainability both feature highly within Fairtrade so why not host an event or activity to introduce students and staff to how Fairtrade contributes towards social, economic and environmental sustainability in producer countries

Whatever your role in helping your University or College’s campaign, try to get as many people as possible involved, including academic staff, support staff and, of course, students.

See what others are doing on Facebook and get inspired

University of Sussex
De Montfort University (DMU)
Oxford Brooks University
UCL (University College London)