Year in Review (2012-2013)

Parker Townley June 21, 2013

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the achievements of this past year.

The Numbers:

At the end of August 2012 Fair Trade Colleges and Universities started off its 5th year with:

  • 10 Declared Colleges and Universities Oklahoma advertizes the steps
  • 30 Active Campaigns

As of June there are now

  • 14 Declared Colleges and Universities (40% increase)
  • 69 Active Campaigns (130% increase!)

Overall the number of campaigns has more than doubled, growing 108% in 10 months. This means that we grew more in one year than the previous four combined!

Let’s Dig a Bit Deeper…

To understand the on-the-ground situation we asked campaigns to respond to our End-of-Year (EOY) Survey, and 52 campaigns responded! Your answers helped us to gauge the true status of the movement. Below are some key takeaways to give an idea of how far we have come.

Conference - engaged

The Conference brought together hundreds of Fair Traders to Chicago for a weekend of shared learning

612: New Fair Trade advocates, on average that’s 13 new Fair Traders per campaign!

75%: Percentage of Campaigns hosted at least 2 Fair Trade events (the majority hosted at least 4!)

200+: Fair Traders attended the Fair Trade Campaigns Conference in Chicago at the end of October.

4: Tours visited dozens of campuses across the USA, reaching thousands along the way. We brought artisans and farmers from Ghana, Colombia and Guatemala.

Great Successes

Over the last year we have managed to have a wide range of successes on campuses across the country. In the EOY survey you reported particular success with:

  1. Events. This includes efforts like our first national event package: the Fair Trade Study Break. Our goal was to have 12 campaigns fully participate, instead we had 18 sign-up and in the end turned away others because of limited resources. Because of the incredible energy we plan to expand these programs, great job!


    Go Bananas for Fair Trade!

  2. Education. You tabled, sampled, presented, and dressed up in Banana Suits to get the word out. These events helped to create conscious consumers and spread awareness on campus about the benefits of Fair Trade.
  3. Product Availability. Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, Sugar, Cotton and Bananas! Working with dining services you helped increase the availability of Fair Trade products, many campuses took part last Fall in the Go Bananas Challenge as part of a targeted national campaign.


Here’s a quick list of the schools that earned Fair Trade Status since last August. Click to read their announcement

         villanova-university_ignite_change_go_nova 1. Pomona College

          2. Assumption College

          3. Rollins College

          4. Villanova University

Notable Achievements

Through the survey, end-of-year reports for declared institutions, social media, and email communications we’ve heard of some great achievements over the last year! Here are three that stood out:

  1. Point Loma Nazarene University: 80% of the student body voted in favor of increasing tuition by $3 per semester to establish a Fair Trade Fund (FTF). The FTF will help subsidize the cost of switching to Fair Trade products and fund educational events across campus. The fund will raise about $7,000 per semester.
  2. Keene State College (KSC): Released a report showing an 18% increase in Fair Trade sales on campus, totaling $493,050. In addition KSC Fair Traders increased the attendance for events by 72%, reaching over 2,500 people this last year.
  3. Fordham University: As a new campaign advocates convinced the Business School to purchase over 400 artisan-crafted Fair Trade rams for 2013 graduates.

New Resources


Read up, learn from other campaigns, and get connected to resources!

Three important new resources were developed over the last year to help guide, excite and engage. Click on each to learn more.

  1. Fair Trade Colleges and Universities Toolkit
  2. Fair Trade Campaigns Infographic
  3. Video: The Merits of Fair Trade

Looking Forward

2012/13 proved to be a breakout year for Fair Trade Colleges and Universities. We managed to drastically increase our impact and streamline our efforts. This next year we look forward to more successes! Keep your heads up for:

  • A Back-to-School Event Package
  • A New ‘Go Bananas Campaign’ in October
  • Procurement Policies (to incorporate Fair Trade purchasing into contracts)
  • A New Website!
  • Opportunities to share and get together with other Fair Traders

That’s all for now!

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Parker Townley, National Organizer | Fair Trade Colleges & Universities

Parker Townley works for Fair Trade Colleges and Universities to help connect students and faculty with the resources they need to effectively campaign for Fair Trade on campus. In his free time Parker explores the Sierra Nevadas with his trusty backpack, roams the Bay Area in search of the perfect cup of coffee, and cultivates a small veggie garden.