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BU sets Fairtrade standard for UK higher education

Fairtrade sign at BU

The Fairtrade Foundation has praised BU for its 'great progress' on pushing Fairtrade forward.

Bournemouth University (BU) has received praise from the Fairtrade Foundation for setting the Fairtrade standard amongst the UK’s Universities and Colleges.

In achieving Fairtrade University status for a further two years, BU has received praise from the Fairtrade Foundation for its robust campaign and communications strategies which proactively engage students, graduates and staff in developing as ‘global citizens’.

In addition to continuing BU’s excellent track record in offering a diverse range of Fairtrade products on its campuses, these strategies help to address a range of ethical consumerism issues through campus-based activities which also extend to the local community. For many, this means that Fairtrade issues may be directly covered as part of their studies at BU, for example in Hospitality Management where students are given an induction to Fairtrade before starting work in The Retreat (the staff dining room). In the University’s Business School, over 100 students take part in a seminar on the coffee trade through a unit on ‘Working in an International Context’.

Other examples of Fairtrade in the curriculum at BU include:

  • Sustainability in Less-Developed Countries – including a debate on ‘How Fair is Fairtrade’
  • Commercial Law & Transactions - focusing on the legal aspects of corporate social responsibility and intellectual property;
  • Marketing – through an International Perspectives Unit which covers Fairtrade, globalisation and sustainable consumption;
  • Finance & Risk – through a Governance & Ethics Unit which looks at Fairtrade within the context of the ethics of global trade.

Celia Masse, campaigns officer at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Well done on your continued commitment to implementing Fairtrade initiatives on campus. You have made great progress on your campaign.”

Swati Upadhyay, Fairtrade Universities Coordinator, added: “We would like to congratulate the University on your Fairtrade campaign. Well done! It is evident that your University has a sound campaign strategy. It is great to see that discussion about Fairtrade has been incorporated in so many courses at the University. You have set a fine example for other Universities and Colleges.”

‘It is great to get such positive feedback. We have worked hard to educate students about global trade and particularly, the impact of Fair Trade. It is through considered consumer choice that we can contribute to a fairer world,” said Christine Shiel, Director of the University’s Centre for Global Perspectives.

BU first became a Fairtrade University in 2006 and two years later launched a unique Centre for Global Perspectives to embed global awareness in the curriculum and create opportunities for cross-cultural learning in an international environment.

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