Monday, 28 February 2011

Fairtrade Fortnight

Look out for the Fairtrade guarantee mark this fortnight

Today sees the start of Fairtrade Fortnight at the University of Greenwich and there is a plethora of events, deals and treats lined up for you over the next two weeks. The Fairtrade Foundation who organise Fairtrade fortnight nationally, are set up to promote and empower workers within less economically developed regions to gain a fair price for their produce. One of the ways that they do this is through the instantly recognisable Fairtrade mark which they award to products that comply with the Fairtrade Foundation’s standards. Put simply when you a buy a product with a Fairtrade mark on it you are guaranteed that the people who farmed or picked the product in its raw state, whether coffee, chocolate, cotton or banana are receiving a fair price for their work and often working in much improved conditions than farmers and workers who are working to produce products that do not receive the Fairtrade mark.

Fairtrade banana farmer (Photo: Simon Rawles)
The University and Students Unions have long been supporters of Fairtrade, and many Fairtrade products have been available across campus for some time. Recently though the University has decided to organise its efforts towards Fairtrade through the creation of a Fairtrade steering group last year and the approval of a Fairtrade Policy this year: Earlier in the month the University applied for Fairtrade University status which we hope we will be awarded before the fortnight is up.

So to encourage everyone on campus to support the cause we have brought together the University’s caterers ABM and Sodexo along with the Students Unions SUUG and UMSA to offer you the best deals on Fairtrade throughout the fortnight and a chance to learn about the difference your money can make to these people’s lives.

In all ABM outlets and cafes you will find an increased range of Fairtrade items being sold, including home baked cakes made with Fairtrade ingredients and Fairtrade bananas on top of all the usual delicious Fairtrade teas, coffees and chocolates. To encourage you to try Fairtrade ABM have arranged for some mouth watering prizes including a Fairtrade hamper and a Fairtrade chocolate experience to be won at each campus. Each time you buy a Fairtrade item you can claim a Fairtrade raffle ticket which will give you the chance to win one of these fabulous prizes. The winners of the prizes will be announced and contacted after the fortnight is over. While you are eating and drinking your Fairtrade delights in the cafe you will be able to read all about how Fairtrade helps the workers and farmers who grew and picked the product in the first place.

Fairtrade Chocolate experience to be won at each campus

In Sodexo’s outlet at the Dome there is a power-point presentation on loop across all the screens telling the story of Fairtrade farmers that you will be able to watch while you enjoy the increased range of Fairtrade goods on offer. As well as this, if you are feeling creative, you can join in the Fairtrade world record attempt at creating the longest continual piece of bunting ever with Fairtrade cotton bunting and drawing attention to the ‘great cotton stitch-up ‘.

SUUG poster for their Fairtrade Raffle
The Universities at Medway Student Association (UMSA) are holding a free raffle to win a Fairtrade cotton hoody, have an increased number of Fairtrade products on sale and will allow you to sample their Fairtrade products in the UMSA shop at Medway. The Students Union University of Greenwich (SUUG) are continuing with the theme of raffles and also offering you a chance to win a Fairtrade hamper full of all sorts of wonderful items including a University of Greenwich hoody made using Fairtrade cotton. For the drinkers among you there is good news too as Sparrows Farm and Bar Latitude are launching Fairtrade Wine Week from next Monday – all week long you will be able to get special offers on Fairtrade wine and perhaps get the creative juices flowing enough to contribute to the Fairtrade bunting record attempt. See more info on the SUUG website

The message is clear, this fortnight get yourself to the cafes, shops, canteens and bars on campus, enjoy the Fairtrade products that we have on offer and use the experience as a chance to learn about Fairtrade and what it means to the people whose lives are affected by it.

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