Laurier receives Fair Trade Campus designation
Waterloo Wilfrid Laurier University is the latest Canadian post-secondary institution to receive a fair trade designation from the Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN). An open house event to celebrate the designation will take place Jan. 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at BYTE 75 Coffee & Social in Lazaridis Hall on Laurier’s Waterloo campus.
“Food sustainability is always of great interest for students at Laurier,” said Tyler Plante, outreach and program coordinator in Laurier’s Sustainability Office. “This designation and increased fair trade options support students in making choices on our campuses that align with their personal values and also have a positive social and environmental impact.”
When a university is designated fair trade, it means it supports fairer conditions and better prices for people in the Global South who grow and make products whether it is coffee, cocoa or cotton t-shirts.
Laurier staff spent the past year developing a fair trade steering committee, making changes to product availability and working with retail managers and vendors. Under the designation, all food outlets operated by Laurier and the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union in Brantford and Waterloo, including Laurier catering, will serve fair trade certified coffee, and fair trade certified options for tea and chocolate bars.
“Our students are passionate and knowledgeable about food when they arrive on our campuses,” said Corrie Bird, marketing and communications manager with Aramark at Laurier. “We want to support and ignite this passion with the continued education and discussion of our fair trade practices.”
Laurier is among several universities in Canada sharing the fair trade designation. The Fair Trade Campus is a program of Fairtrade Canada, managed in partnership with CFTN and the Association québécoise du commerce équitable (AQCÉ). It recognizes colleges, CEGEPs and universities demonstrating strong commitment to fair trade from its stakeholders, including administration, food service providers, and student unions and associations.
Laurier’s fair trade designation open house will feature a series of interactive stations that represent key points along a food product’s supply chain from farmer to consumer. It is open to all members of the university community and the first 100 attendees will receive a fair trade gift bag.