By Anneka Bosse – The Brock Press
Fair Trade Certified products are becoming increasingly more available at Brock University.
Only Fair Trade Certified (FTC) coffee is sold at all non-franchise businesses on campus, as well as at least three types of FTC tea. In addition to coffee and tea, there is at least one type of FTC chocolate available everywhere chocolate is sold.
Fairtrade is a trading partnership where the rights of people are put ahead of profit. It guarantees fair wages, long-term support and safe working conditions for farmers and artisans, while using environmental practices. Fairtrade certification for products ensures that the Fair Trade standards are met.
At Brock, both the Dining Services and Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) have been making efforts to increase the number of FTC products available to students. In September 2011, Brock Dining Services made the switch to selling FTC coffee exclusively. This was made possible by roasting their organic and FTC coffee beans on site at the Guernsey Market. The coffee is known as the Sir Isaac Brock Blend.
In addition to FTC coffee, Dining Services have added three types of FTC Numi Tea to their tea selection. The Sir Isaac Brock Blend and Numi Tea are available at all Brock Dining Services locations, including the Guernsey Market, Decew Residence Dining Hall, Lowenberger Residence Dining Hall, Alphie’s Bistro, Cairns Food Court and the C-Block Café.
The General Brock Store, operated by BUSU, began selling FTC coffee exclusively in the summer of 2012. Shortly after, they added FTC tea options. Now, the General Brock Store only sells FTC Numi Tea. On top of the FTC coffee and tea, the General Brock Store has many other FTC treats available, including Thins and Bubbly varieties, Sjaak’s Eli’s Earth Bars and chocolate bites and Choco Dream Rice Sticks.
FTC chocolate is also available at the Campus Store, Union Station, Walker Food Court and all vending machines across campus.
The future of Fairtrade at Brock looks positive as more and more FTC products are becoming available.
Heather Hill, retail manager of the General Brock Store, is always looking and willing to add more FTC products to the store. Their next additions will be Camino chocolate bars. Iain Glass, the Director of Hospitality Services, hopes to fill an entire row in the vending machines with FTC products. Additionally, OPIRG-Brock is working to get FTC bananas sold on campus.
While the efforts from non-franchise businesses are promising, the same cannot be said for independent businesses and franchises that are not under the university’s or BUSU’s control. Independent businesses, such as the Daily Grind and Common Grounds café, offer a couple of FTC coffee options to choose from but also sell non-fairly traded coffee. Franchises, like Tim Hortons and Subway, do not offer any FTC options.
Brock Fairtrade and OPIRG-Brock are encouraging all businesses, including independents and franchises, to increase availability and variety of FTC products on campus.
Students can help by looking for the FTC label when deciding what to buy. If there is more demand from the students, businesses on campus will carry more FTC options.
To get involved and to find out where to buy Fairtrade products at Brock, go to yourbrock.org/fairtrade or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.