EWB continues fair trade campaign

Anqi Shen
November 1, 2012
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

McMaster’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is continuing their efforts to bring about a fair trade campus status for McMaster.

Last March, a motion was brought forth at the MSU’s general assembly for the MSU to work with the university to attain the status, but the motion was dismissed because quorum wasn’t reached.

A fair trade campus is a status granted by the Canadian Fair Trade Network that would mean all coffee sold at the university would be fair trade certified. In addition, there would have to be at least three fair-trade tea options and one chocolate option wherever tea and chocolate are sold.

Franchises such as Tim Horton’s that operate on campus would not be required to serve fair trade coffee.

There would also need to be a committee consisting of one university VP, a retail manager at the university, a manager from the Union Market, one faculty member and one student representative.

Fair trade signage would have to be visible where the products are offered, and the university’s website would need to indicate McMaster’s fair trade campus status.

Dani Mejia, director of fair trade awareness for EWB McMaster, said the organization will continue to promote and discuss how the initiative may be implemented.

“It would be a gradual change. We’ve been told it can’t happen overnight or even within a year,” said Mejia. “Even if many students aren’t aware of the benefits of fair trade, that’s exactly what we are trying to address [in our campaign],” she said.

As of Jan. 1, 2012, the MSU’s Union Market adopted the practice of selling fair trade only coffee as well as a selection of fair trade teas and chocolate.

Leigh Laidlaw, Chef Manager at Bridges Café, says Bridges currently serves fair trade coffee only, and he would be interested in serving fair-trade teas. Bridges has undertaken several sustainability initiatives in the past year, including a kitchen composting system and the eco container pilot program.

Other Canadian university campuses that have recently become fair trade certified include the University of British Columbia, the first to do so in Canada, and Simon Fraser University.

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