UWE celebrates Fair-trade fortnight

Issue date: 03 March 2006

Fair-trade logo The University of the West of England is celebrating Fair-trade fortnight by offering students and staff special promotional deals on Fair trade products to raise awareness of fair trade issues.

Mark Webster, Environmental Manager at UWE explains, “We are very keen to promote the socially responsible choices to staff and students. Fair-trade fortnight is an ideal opportunity to do this. A large employer like UWE can have quite a big impact when it puts its muscle behind initiatives of this kind and we aim to develop the ethos of thinking globally and acting locally.

In conjunction with the UWE Students' Union and the University Chaplaincy, a 'Rich World/Poor World' lunch on will be held on Thursday 9 March. A ticket for lunch costs £2.00 but the purchaser doesn't know what that lunch will consist of. It might be a 'poor world' lunch of rice and peas, or a 'Rich World' lunch of more luxurious items? It's all in the luck of the draw”.

Susan Burton, UWE's Environmental Assistant, said, “We now have Fair-trade options available at all UWE run outlets as well as all Student Union shops, and are promoting this with posters. Staff booking hospitality tea or coffee can opt to request Fair-trade options.

Various promotional deals on Fair-trade items are planned for the bars and refectories during the second week of Fair-trade fortnight and the Student Union's 'Pub Quiz' nights will have an extra round of Fair-trade Questions with Fair-trade products as prizes. The UWE staff newsletter – the Bulletin is including a voucher for free Fair-trade coffee with the aim of increasing sales of the Fair–trade option in the future.

“Banners have been commissioned to promote Fair-trade – one will be on prominent display on the entrance to the university from Monday 6 March and throughout Fair-trade Fortnight. Several plasma screens around campus are promoting the event and a slide show presentation will run in the UWE's Main Reception throughout Fair-trade fortnight.”

UWE's application to the Fair-trade Foundation to become a Fair-trade university was submitted on 17 February and the university is awaiting the outcome. Mark Webster continues. “We have worked hard to look at as many opportunities to offer fair trade goods to all the universities customers and at all outlets and to promote fair trade in newsletters. So we are hoping that we will be successful in our application to be Fair-trade University”.

The Environmental Management Pages on UWE's web site now sport several new pages about Fair-trade. View at http://www.uwe.ac.uk/environment/fairtrade.shtml

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