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Welcome to the Fair Trade Community of Practice

Increasing numbers of educational institutions are gaining Fairtrade status, a Fairtrade Foundation accreditation. Institutions are making commitments to buying and selling fair trade goods, are setting up steering groups, and are raising awareness on trade justice issues among staff and students.

This network was set up in 2013 to facilitate sharing of ideas, experience and best practice related to fair trade in universities and colleges in the UK.

We feel that while Fairtrade and university and college status is a good starting point, questions of fairness in trade go much further. For example, there are opportunities to collaborate with other fair trade certification bodies, and with suppliers that don’t have a fair trade label. There are a wide range of initiatives focusing on workers’ rights and supply chain codes of conduct. Other groups hope to make global trade fairer by changing international trade rules.

This network encourages participation from sustainability officers, procurement staff, academic staff, any other staff with an interest in fair trade, and students (for example student society representatives). Critical discussion and dissemination of relevant resources via the network is encouraged. While the majority of communication will take place by email list, we hope to organise face to face meetings at conferences where possible.

Questions network members may wish to discuss include:

• What is fair trade? (in a broader sense)
• How can a university or college trade more fairly?
• How can we increase student and staff awareness and engagement in fair trade issues?
• How can we encourage more teaching and research about fairness in trade?
• What does/should it mean to be operating within a Fair Trade Nation? (A status awarded to Wales in 2008 and to Scotland in 2013).

It is envisaged that such discussion could inspire staff and student action, policy change, academic research, and inter-institution collaboration.

About Liz Cooper, Convenor

Liz Cooper is the Research and Policy Manager for Social Responsibility and Sustainability at University of Edinburgh (previously Fair Trade Coordinator). Liz spent four years working on fair trade projects in developing countries, before completing an MSc in Business and Community at the University of Bath. She now works on fair trade engagement and the development of a Fair Trade Academic Network at the University of Edinburgh. See www.ed.ac.uk/about/sustainability/themes/fair-trade and www.sps.ed.ac.uk/jwi/ftan 

Contact

Liz Cooper
Research and Policy Manager for Social Responsibility and Sustainability
University of Edinburgh
liz.cooper@ed.ac.uk

What is going on?

2016 - Fairtrade Fortnight six word story competition
To mark Fairtrade Fortnight 2016 (29 February-13 March), the EAUC Fair Trade Community of Practice launched a competition to see who can come up with the best six word stories about fair trade. Find out more about it here.

2015 - Approaches to fair trade in educational insitutions
As part of Fairtrade Fortnight 2015, Members of the EAUC Fair Trade Community of Practice have shared some information about their institution’s approach to fair trade in 2015. Liz Cooper, the Fair Trade CoP Convenor also reached out to contacts in international Universities to share their institution’s approaches too.

> University of Edinburgh approach to fair trade in 2015
> University of Valladolid approach to fair trade in 2015
> University of the Balearic Islands approach to fair trade in 2015
> University of St Andrews approach to fair trade in 2015
> University of Córdoba approach to fair trade in 2015
> University of Cantabria approach to fair trade in 2015
> Goldsmiths, University of London approach to fair trade in 2015
> City College Plymouth approach to fair trade in 2015
Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios (UNIMINUTO), Colombia approach to fair trade in 2015
> Edinburgh Napier University approach to fair trade in 2015
> Public University of Navarra, Spain approach to fair trade in 2015
> Edge Hill University approach to fair trade in 2015
> Borders College approach to fair trade in 2015
> EAUC Fairtrade Fortnight Tea Party 2015

2014 - Fairtrade Fortnight
2014 was the first Fairtrade Fortnight since the launch of the EAUC Fair Trade Community of Practice in May 2013. To recognise the need of fair trade resources within the tertiary sector, each working day of the fortnight, the EAUC Fair Trade CoP received hints and tips, institutional case studies and resources as well as an enlightened account of what the staff at EAUC doing to promote fair trade.

How Universities can go beyond Fairtrade: Oxford Brookes University debate
Why EAUC supports Fairtrade and the promotion of fair trade principles
Taking fair trade further - (EAUC Webinar)

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How to search for previous discussions

This CoP is open to all EAUC Members and other invited parties to learn and share experiences in the field of fair trade. It is not a forum for commercial gain.

We know that there are many topics that come up regularly on the discussion networks so here is a quick and easy guide on how to search for previous discussions:

  1. Go to https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/ and click on ‘Subscribers Corner’
  2. Click on the discussion network you would like to search – ‘EAUC-FT’ is the list for this Discussion Network
  3. The three ‘Latest messages’ are shown in a box near the top of the page. Click the message to read the entire post.
  4. To search the list for a particular topic use the 'Search Archive' box on the right-hand side of the screen. Type the keyword/s you would like to search for and this will bring up a list of all posts containing that word/phrase.
  5. You can further refine your search by adding parameters.

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Convenor Liz Cooper
Convenor Liz Cooper

Fair Trade CoP Conference meeting "selfie"
Fair Trade CoP Conference meeting "selfie"