Standing up for farmers on Fairtrade Fortnight
The University has taken part in the annual campaign to raise awareness of the importance of Fairtrade
This year’s national Fairtrade Fortnight aimed to highlight the lack of food security for farmers across the world. Using the slogan ‘Sit down for breakfast, stand up for farmers’, the campaign raised awareness of the fact that many farmers who provide the western world with food, cannot afford to feed their own families.
To support the initiative, City’s Sustainability Team hosted a series of events and activities ranging from breakfast bars and afternoon teas, to a visit from a Fairtrade coffee grower’s daughter. The coffee farm Franceska Salazar Hilaconda’s family runs in Peru provides the coffee beans for Sodexo, one of City’s catering providers. During her visit, Franceska gave a short talk about her family’s business and the impact Fairtrade can have on the lives of smallholder farmers.
Throughout the fortnight, a series of stalls were posted along the University’s main walkway, providing information about Fairtrade and selling a range of products. Staff also held their own events, including bake sales and awareness quizzes.
City has been accredited as a Fairtrade University since 2010 and is committed to using Fairtrade products across campus. This ensures farmers and workers in developing countries receive a fair wage, have safer conditions at work and extra income that can help them to work their way out of poverty.
Nilufar Verjee, Public Engagement Director for the Fairtrade Foundation, said Fairtrade means farmers and workers are able to do what most people in the UK take for granted: “put enough food on the table for the people they care about, all year round.”
Nilufar added: “Farming is the backbone of the world. It’s simply wrong that whilst farmers work hard to produce what we eat so many of them should go hungry themselves.
Eleanor Simes, Sustainability Officer at City said:
“Fairtrade plays a huge part in improving the lives of farmers and workers in countries across the world, ensuring they have decent working conditions and fair terms of trade. As a Fairtrade university, City supports Fairtrade throughout the year, but we always like to join with organisations across the UK to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight.”