UWE Bristol double winners at Fairtrade Business Awards for second year in a row

Issue date: 11 March 2013

UWE Bristol has won two awards for the second successive year at the annual South West Fairtrade Business Awards. The awards, which are sponsored by The Co-operative, were held at Bristol's Colston Hall and presented by chef and entrepreneur, Levi Roots on Friday 8 March.

The UWE Coffee Cart, a joint venture between UWE Bristol and UWE Student Union, beat off stiff competition to pick up the award for Best Fairtrade Catering Outlet, whilst the UWE Student Union shop won gold in the Best Fairtrade Retailer category.

Vicki Harris, UWE Bristol sustainability engagement coordinator, said of the back to back success, “Fairtrade matters - staff and students from across the University have worked hard to make a difference to peoples' lives across the globe. The awards recognise their effort, and are a great boost to our work. Thank you to Fairtrade South West.

The panel of judges were impressed by the ability of both businesses to 'punch above their weight' and 'make the most of their resources '. The judges also praised the 'comprehensive engagement work with staff and students across the campus', a personal highlight for Vicki. “We have done much to promote Fairtrade awareness and buying practices amongst staff and students, working together with SU staff, Rita Abrahams and Karen Thompson, as well as Jayne Seymour from Hopsitality Services, and with UWE sustainability champions. It was great that the judges highlighted this example of 'true' team working across the University.”

The UWE Students' Union shop has been selling Fairtrade products for over six years. The range of Fairtrade goods on display has grown enormously in that time, with over 80 products now on sale. Everything from hoodies and chocolate to wine and cosmetics, sport the Fairtrade logo and provide an opportunity to raise awareness of social and ethical issues amongst staff, students and visitors.

The Coffee Cart is an exciting joint venture between UWESU 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.

UWE Bristol Deputy Vice-Chancellor, John Rushforth, commented, “We have a real commitment to becoming one of the most sustainable Universities in the country. That's why we are committed to developing Fairtrade initiatives at UWE Bristol. It's fantastic that the efforts of our staff have been recognised for the second year in a row at the awards. We will continue to innovate, promote and support this important ethos as we develop trading outlets at the University.”

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