Fairtrade status for Strathclyde

Raw coffee beans in palm of a hand.

Strathclyde has been officially recognised for its commitment to Fairtrade and joins a growing list of universities in Scotland to be accredited with Fairtrade status.

The accreditation reinforces the University's commitment to the global movement, which ensures fair prices are paid to producers of goods in developing countries.

Currently, there are more than 1.65 million farmers and workers in 74 countries directly benefiting from the Fairtrade system. Fairtrade works to benefit small-scale farmers and workers – who are amongst the most marginalised groups globally – through trade rather than aid, to enable them to maintain livelihoods and reach their full potential.

High standards

At Strathclyde a number of policies have been put in place to ensure the campus meets the high standards required to become a Fairtrade organisation. From food and drink being used in all cafes, restaurants and bars on campus, to the cotton used in the production of Strathclyde clothing and merchandise, the University continues to grow its Fairtrade offering.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Being recognised as a Fairtrade university demonstrates our commitment to development and sustainability.

The Fairtrade movement is internationally renowned as an effective means to help reduce the gap between developing and developed nations, ensuring that producers across the world get a fair deal for their products.

“We’re proud to be able to play a role in that mission, and it’s thanks to our Fairtrade campaigners who have helped raise awareness of the movement within the university. We will strive to continue working with organisations such as Fairtrade which impact the world in a positive way.”

Scotland has been a Fairtrade nation since 2013, and was only the second country in the world (after Wales) to meet the criteria.

Joe Harrison, Campaigns Co-ordinator at Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Congratulations to Strathclyde University in officially achieving Fairtrade status. This is a shining example of how students and communities can work together to deliver real change to millions of lives in the developing world. Each small campaign or purchasing choice can affect change on a worldwide scale. 

“Fairtrade is a way to empower producers in poor countries so that, instead of being at the mercy of markets and big business, they are able to take control of their own economic future. The year-on-year growth we’re seeing in sales of Fairtrade products has come about thanks to the work of dedicated volunteers and campaigners, especially in Fairtrade Universities and colleges.”