During the final week of October, Vanier Sustainability celebrated the fact that Vanier is a fair trade campus. Volunteers participated in booths and activities throughout the week, and shared free fair trade coffee (hot and cold) and chocolate fondue.
In the D-cafeteria, all coffees and most teas are fair trade, and Jake’s has fair trade coffee and tea options also. Select snacks and chocolate brands sold on campus are fair trade as well.
When a product is certified as fair trade, it means the workers and farmers producing the product in other countries are paid fairer wages and have better working conditions. Fair trade assures that there are no children working on the farms, and prevents gender discrimination in the work place.
Fair trade companies also work towards protection of the environment, as they follow environmental standards and promote training to farmers that encourage more sustainable farming practices.
These sustainable practices promoted by fair trade lead to higher living standards in the communities in the farming countries, as well as stronger and more inclusive businesses, and improvements in quality and productivity of produce in those countries.
To know whether a product is fair trade or not, you can look for the fair trade logo on the packaging.
Fair trade week on campus helped promote a more sustainable way of buying produce for students and staff, as it fairly considers workers at all steps of the production process.
Written by: India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner