Brock University will be celebrating its fourth year as a Fairtrade Campus with several events for students and staff, as well as giveaways. Beginning in 2011, students Anneka Bosse and Charissa DiMarco created a club in order to bring awareness to Fairtrade issues on campus and within the Niagara Region. In September of 2013, Brock University was officially recognized as a Fairtrade Campus by Fairtrade Canada due to their adherence to requirements such as accessibility and visibility.
This led Brock to become the second university in Ontario to become Fairtrade Certified (FTC) and the sixth in Canada. Today this movement currently spans across 17 Canadian university campuses with several more schools working towards this designation.
So, what is Fairtrade? Fifth year student Manchari Paranthahan describes it as, “ethical purchasing, making sure workers are treated fairly and making sure the things we are consuming are ethical.” In essence, it is asking us to be critical of the source of our consumable goods from fashion to food.
Here on campus, Fairtrade is not only a movement but also a committee, comprised of faculty, staff and students. There are several departments here at Brock, as well as the Fairtrade Committee, dedicated to meeting the requirements in order to be considered a Fairtrade Campus.
All Coffee served at Dining Services and BUSU locations are FTC and there are also Fairtrade options at independent locations such as the Starbucks at the Daily Grind or Common Grounds Cafés. There is also a minimum of three FTC teas available at these venues, excluding independents, and at least one chocolate bar.
In 2015, Brock was selected as Fairtrade Campus of the year; this was not only due to their commitment to serving FTC items, but also their dedication to promoting and providing these options. In past years Fairtrade at Brock has been a BUSU ratified club, but has since become a committee that reports to the Sustainability Coordinating Committee.
The Fairtrade Committee is comprised of faculty, staff and student representatives. Iain Glass, director of hospitality services, sits on this committee in order to ensure dining services’ commitment to having ethical and sustainable options for students.
Since this week is Fairtrade Campus Week there are a lot of events happening for students to not only participate in Fairtrade, but also to learn more about it.
To kick things off on September 27t, Brian Hutchings, acting President, will be in Guernsey Market speaking about Brock and Fairtrade as a whole. There will be Ben and Jerry’s Fairtrade ice cream in Isaac’s.
Throughout the week there will also be vendors from all over the Niagara Region who will be selling items such as clothing and accessories in the Guernsey Market from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. Banana giveaways happening at all Fairtrade Campus Week events and at the General Brock store.
On Sept. 28,t a screening of Black Gold will be happening in Academic South, Room 207, beginning at 7:00 p.m. This documentary gives a deeper look into the coffee industry and providing fair wages for workers.
Finally, on Sept. 29, there will be a coffee house held in Market from 12:00-2:00 p.m. and a closing ceremony to wrap up the week.
If you have interest in learning more about Fairtrade you can visit fairtrade.ca, or if you would like to get involved you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.