UWE Bristol are double winners in Fairtrade Business Awards

Issue date: 12 March 2012


UWE Bristol has won two awards in the first ever Fairtrade Business Awards held in Bristol and sponsored by The Co-operative. The Awards were presented by the BBC's George Alagiah at a ceremony at Leigh Court on Friday 9 March [2012].

UWESU won gold in the Best Fairtrade Retailer category, sponsored by TLT LLP, for the Students' Union shop, and in a joint venture UWE and UWESU won Best Fairtrade Catering Outlet category for the UWE Coffee Cart.

The UWE Students' Union shop has been selling Fairtrade goods for over five years. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness of social and ethical issues amongst staff, students and visitors – with a marketplace of over 28,000 customers on the Frenchay campus. The range of Fairtrade products stocked has grown, with 80 products now on sale -everything from hoodies and chocolate to wine and cosmetics,all with the Fairtrade logo.

The Coffee Cart is an exciting joint venture between UWESU (UWE Students' Union) and UWE Bristol. It is staffed by the Students' Union and stocked with Fairtrade goods bought by UWE Bristol. Solely dedicated to Fairtrade coffee, tea, juices and biscuits, the Coffee Cart is a stall located in the busiest thoroughfare of the main campus at Frenchay for maximum impact - a big innovation in terms of visibility and consumption of Fairtrade products. It sells thousands of cups of coffee every week - valued at £66,787 in the last 12 months.

Speaking about these awards, Vicki Harris, UWE Bristol sustainability engagement co-ordinator said, “It gives everyone a boost to win these awards award and most importantly, it draws attention to Fairtrade Fortnight here. This is a great recognition of the efforts of all staff involved, the Students' Union, the Trades Unions and the University as a whole in promoting such a vital issue.”

The other categories are: Best Fairtrade Office, sponsored by Burges Salmon; Best Fairtrade Accommodation and the Overall Winner of Best Fairtrade Business, sponsored by Lyons Davidson.

The Awards, are uniquely designed and made by Bristol Blue Glass. The event is organised by Bristol Fairtrade Network in association with Business West, Destination Bristol and Bristol City Council.

Bristol City Council leader, Cllr Barbara Janke, said, “Bristol has been a Fairtrade City since 2005 and it's great to see more and more businesses in the city embracing its ethos and following through with their actions. People here want to trade fairly and be able to make more ethical buying choices.”

UWE Bristol Deputy Vice-Chancellor, John Rushforth, commented, “We are committed to developing Fairtrade initiatives at UWE Bristol so it is great that we have been recognised at the inaugural awards in Bristol. We will continue to innovate, promote and support this important ethos as we develop trading outlets at the University.”

Editor's notes

* Bristol won the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2011 Fairtrade Fortnight Awards.

* Fairtrade guarantees small producers in developing countries a fair and living wage for their goods, as well as paying a social premium to the farming co-operative which can be used for health and social programmes such as schools, clean water etc.

* The Co-operative is the UK's leading supermarket supporter of Fairtrade, and its extensive Fairtrade range, covers everything from chocolate to cereals, hot and cold drinks, fruit and nuts, and a market-leading wine range

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