Fair trade at the University of Edinburgh

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As part of Fairtrade Fortnight 2014, EAUC have dedicated a campaign to promoting the hard work that takes place in our Member institutions to promote fair trade. Here, Liz Cooper, Convenor of the EAUC Fair Trade Community of Practice, talks through University of Edinburgh's plans for the fortnight and celebrating 10 years of being a Fairtrade University.

10 years of being a Fairtrade University

Fairtrade Fortnight 2014 marks ten years of the University being a Fairtrade University, following a student vote in 2003. Over the years, the University and students’ association, EUSA, have made commitments to procuring and selling fair trade goods on campus, and holding awareness-raising events on fair trade. Staff and students meet together in a Fair Trade Steering Group five times a year, to continue to develop the institution’s approach to trading fairly and encouraging others to do so.

To mark our ten years of fair trade work, this Fairtrade Fortnight includes a range of events:

• A public lecture on 25th February asking ‘Does fair trade make a difference?’ by Paul Chandler, former chief executive of leading fair trade organisation Traidcraft. This day also marks one year of Scotland being a Fair Trade Nation, and includes the participation of MSP Humza Yousaf, Minister for External Affairs and International Development

• Student International Development Society held a panel debate on 23rd January asking ‘Does fair trade go far enough?’

• Student volunteers are busy writing articles on fair trade for our website, organising a bike-powered fair trade film screening event, and curating an exhibition on fair trade

• Students association EUSA is hosting fair trade wine producers for a talk and tasting event

• Our Fair Trade Academic Network is holding a seminar on fair trade and food security, with academic and practitioner speakers

• Later in March, EUSA will also be hosting a fair trade ceilidh!

Further details on all these events can be found on www.ed.ac.uk/fairtrade

What's next?

While we have fulfilled the Fairtrade Foundation’s criteria for being a Fairtrade University for ten years now, we are keen to continue to take fair trade much further – investigating a broad range of codes and standards, and approaches to making trade fairer. We are working on the development of academic and student research projects to inform future policy and practice. Throughout this semester, we are carrying out a consultation process on bunting, asking students, staff and others to tell us their thoughts on ‘what next for fair trade?’, to help inform our next steps in this important area.

Fair trade Academic Network: www.sps.ed.ac.uk/jwi/ftan

Fair trade is now being embedded as a theme within the University’s new Social Responsibility and Sustainability Department

Main Contact Name: Liz Cooper, Research and Policy Manager
Main Contact Email: Liz.Cooper@ed.ac.uk
Further information/website: www.ed.ac.uk/fairtrade
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