Purchasing Policies – Overview, Resources and Webinar Recording

Parker Townley September 16, 2013

Over the last two years Fair Trade Campaigns has been developing and piloting policies to help institutions purchase responsibly produced goods. The good news? We’re ready to unveil the result! 

So what is procurement (purchasing)?


Procurement means to purchase, and institutions spend lots of money purchasing goods and services. They buy food for dining facilities, cafés, offices and more. We have developed resources to help you understand how institutions purchase goods and how you can work with your administration to support producers through the purchasing of Fair Trade. Institutions of higher education purchase large volumes of products ($5 billion a year on food alone!), leveraging this purchasing has the potential to create a world of change for farmers and workers around the globe. 


What is a Purchasing Policy?

Purchasing policies dictate what institutions can buy. A Fair Trade purchasing policy would require that an institution purchase fair trade varieties of basic products – coffee, tea, sugar, cocoa, etc. – that are available with a fair trade label. These policies, once passed, inform and direct officials on campus how to purchase Fair Trade products (and require them to do so!). Institutions buy in huge quantities – which could mean a lot of new Fair Trade purchasing in one place. Passing a Fair Trade purchasing policy is a great way to advance the Fair Trade movement along with the values that you and your institution care about.


Great! How can I get a Policy Passed on my Campus?

To help you get started we have developed a few resources to help you understand how institutions purchase goods and how to work with your administration to support producers through the purchasing of Fair Trade. 

If you have any questions then please contact Fair Trade Colleges and Universities National Organizer Parker Townley at ptownley@fairtradeusa.org

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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.