The University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol in partnership with the Students’ Union have made it their mission to support Fairtrade and so to benefit the poorest farmers on earth, through providing students and staff with ethical products to buy on campus.
Over the past 5 years through a strategic approach to product offer promotion and campaigns, we have increased sales from £78,000 to £820,000. In the process, we have used Fairtrade to raise awareness of issues of social and economic justice and global citizenship within our University community. We have shared good practice and gained external recognition in the form of success at the South West Fairtrade Business Awards.
The benefits to the University have been many, from meeting our formal sustainability objectives and University 2020 Strategy Graduate Attributes, to providing study and volunteering opportunities. Moreover, our work on Fairtrade has brought together departments and services in an inspiring way for those involved.
Top 3 learnings:
1 Use a dedicated Fairtrade only outlet e.g. a coffee cart, to increase sales and awareness.
2 Maximise the potential for student engagement and awareness through work within the curriculum.
3 Use external recognition in the form of awards to drive progress and galvanise institutional support.