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Archive > October 2003

Fairtrade and Trade Justice

» 27 October 2003 » In Ethical and Environmental, External, Lapsed Policy, Lapsing Policy » No Comments

Fairtrade and Trade Justice- 27 October 2003: Ratified 15 June 2009, Union Council (Ref: 0304P1)

Union Notes

  1. The value of international trade has tripled in the last twenty years, but the benefits of this trade are not shared equally
  2. In the UK, there are now more fairly traded products available than ever before. Nearly 100 foods bear the Fairtrade Mark. Whilst many large retailers (including all major supermarkets) and caterers (e.g. Costa Coffee, Starbucks) are now selling Fairtrade foods,     there is much room for growth within the Fairtrade market, including within the      University
  3. PURE is willing to liaise with national Fairtrade campaign groups to promote Fairtrade and is committed to campaign for Southampton University to be awarded Fairtrade status. PURE will aim to source and provide Fairtrade literature and products for sale and use at the University as well as to publicise the benefits of Fairtrade and the Trade Justice Movement. PURE will also continue to run events and campaigns annually during        Fairtrade fortnight as well as at other times. PURE will aim to, at all times, work with the Union and University to these ends


Union Believes

  1. In the light of the above notes it is appropriate to support the trade justice movement and move towards this University gaining Fairtrade status
  2. Promoting the sale of Fairtrade products alone is not sufficient to affect the larger         problems of the global trading system. The University should take an active stance on       this issue through wider forums such as the Southampton Fairtrade City Group and the ‘Make Trade Fair’ campaign
  3. There are large numbers of consumers at this university who consume large quantities of tea, coffee and chocolate on a daily basis. By building awareness of the inequalities of trade, and the implications of their buying decisions, Fairtrade empowers people to challenge the ways that trade works: every member of this university can make socially responsible choices and affect global change
  4. Becoming a Fairtrade University will also help to promote cultural and social awareness among the students and staff through: the increased understanding of how our actions can affect people thousands of miles away; the education regarding different cultures and societies that knowledge of Fairtrade issues brings; the increased feeling of unity between Fairtrade producers and students and staff as consumers
  5. Trade liberalisation, enforced by the World Trade Organisation makes it increasingly difficult for small traders to compete. ‘Free trade’ is supposedly in the interests of increased competition but when multinational companies are able to benefit from subsidies and protections denied to small economies, this competition is unfair. Trade is a powerful engine of economic growth. However, it can also fuel massive inequalities
  6. Fairtrade alternatives to existing non-Fairtrade products are competitively priced and equal in quality, yet guarantee the producer a fair wage
  7. The Fairtrade movement has been one of the most powerful responses to the problems facing commodity producers. It gives consumers an opportunity to use their purchasing power to tilt the balance, however slightly, in favour of the poor. This means producers receive a fair price for their goods (one that covers the cost of production and guarantees a sustainable living); long-term contracts which provide real security; and, for many, support to gain the knowledge and skills that they need to develop their businesses and increase sales


Union Resolves                                                                       

  1. The Students’ Union will create a Fairtrade policy aiming to incorporate the following    goals:

The Students’ Union Environmental Officer would take primary responsibility for implementing and developing this policy, and agree to sit on the Fairtrade Steering Group (see goal 5). They would also write to the relevant University Authorities to try to implement the same. This will be written into their mandate/job description

  1. All Students’ Union shops/cafes/bars/restaurants will stock Fairtrade alternatives to at least two existing non-Fairtrade products on sale. Where this is not feasible, there will be a commitment to begin to use Fairtrade foods in these establishments as soon as it becomes feasible to do so. This will have an initial trial period (Spring term 04), the success of which will be reviewed by the Steering Group who will submit a report for consideration to the Union Management Board (UMB) i.e. if a shop currently sells coffee they would be obliged to add a Fairtrade brand to their stock or to replace it with Fairtrade (minimum of two items must have a Fairtrade alternative). Shops would not be obliged to sell Fairtrade foods that they do not already sell as non-Fairtrade
  2. Fairtrade foods (e.g. coffee and tea) will be provided as an alternative at all meetings hosted by the Students’ Union, and are served in all Students’ Union management offices
  3. There will be a commitment to campaign for increased Fairtrade consumption on campus. PURE will fulfil as much of this as possible with the support and co-operation from the Union. At least three of the following methods must be in operation at any one time for Fairtrade status to be achieved.

4.1     Articles and other appropriate material will be regularly included in the student     newspaper and on the university’s website. Promotion of the Fairtrade Mark in other appropriate publications, such as university prospectuses should also be pursued. In particular, the publications should commit to cover the annual Fairtrade Fortnight in March, and to update readers with major developments

4.2     Fairtrade Foundation materials will be displayed on notice boards in the Halls and common rooms and other University notice boards, promoting commitment to Fairtrade foods. Materials should also be displayed in every place where Fairtrade foods are sold, where possible

4.3     Events and campaigns will be run annually during Fairtrade Fortnight (March).       Fairtrade issues and Fairtrade foods will be promoted with the aim of increasing      awareness of issues and sales of products.  The Union, through PURE, would commit itself to running a series of events (stalls, Fairtrade cafes, poster campaigns, plus other events run by PURE where possible) during the Fairtrade Fortnight

4.4     The Steering Group, through PURE, should seek opportunities to promote the Fairtrade Mark at related events – for example, those which focus on trade and development, the Freshers’ Fair etc.

5. A Fairtrade Steering Group will be established.  This group will meet at least once a term to reflect on the progress of each of these goals, and to decide how to go about continuing to excel in these goals. The group would include a representative from each     of the following groups:

  • The residential/catering organisation
  • The university authority
  • The SU executive
  • PURE

(The Steering Group is required to produce a full report to send to the Fairtrade           Foundation via UMB, explaining how each goal has been achieved in order for status to be awarded. For the university’s status to be retained, the Steering Group is expected to develop the goals and send a report, via UMB, at the end of every academic year to the Fairtrade Foundation.)

A member of the Union Management Board and Fairtrade Steering Group will pursue the University authorities to also implement and achieve the above goals so that Fairtrade status can be awarded.

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