Academic Year in Review: 1 Year. 11 Declarations

Parker Townley July 1, 2014

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

The Movement is Growing.

At the end of August 2013 Fair Trade Colleges & Universities started off its 6th year with:

  • 14 Declared Colleges and Universities 
  • 69 Active Campaigns

As of June 2014 there are now:

  • 25 Declared Colleges and Universities (79% increase!)
  • 90 Active Campaigns (30.4% increase)

This Spring semester saw more campuses (10) earn recognition as official Fair Trade Colleges and Universities than the first 4 years (2008-2011) combined. The numbers don’t lie – our movement is growing.

Let’s Dig a Bit Deeper…

To understand the on-the-ground situation we sent out an End-of-Year Survey, and 66 campaigns responded! Below are some key takeaways:

838: New Fair Trade advocates joined the movement this last year, on average that’s 13 per campaign

81%: Percent of Campaigns that hosted at least 2 Fair Trade events (almost half of campaigns hosted at least 4!)

200+: Advocates representing dozens of campaigns attended regional gatherings in Southern California, New England, the Mid-West and Mid-Atlantic.

38: Campaigns hosted events during Finals in December and May

900: Handwritten notes were sent to Fair Trade farmers and workers as part of our Valentine’s Day celebrations. Meanwhile the ‘Virtual Valentine‘ flash mob reached 153,590 people.

3300+: Participated in the Late Night Snack Photo Contest last September.

Great Successes

Numerous achievements came out of this last year’s efforts – here’s a few that stood out:


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

  1. DePaul UniversityLMU
  2. Cabrini College
  3. Champlain College
  4. Colby-Sawyer College
  5. Loyola Marymount University
  6. St. Joseph’s University
  7. Saint Mary’s College of California
  8. Berea College
  9. Tulane University
  10. Neumann University
  11. Hartwick College (official announcement coming)


Notable Achievements

Through surveys, reports, social media, and email communications we’ve heard of some great achievements over the last year! Here are four that stood out:

  1. Loyola Marymount University (LMU): When major coffee retailer Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf announced its intention to open shop at LMU students organized, worked with their administration, and made clear the need for Fair Trade. In response Coffee Bean began offering its first Fair Trade blend – the ‘University Blend’!.
  2. Tulane University: hosted a Fair Trade Bake-Off with their on-campus food service provider – Sodexo. Over 600 taste-tested the new creations!
  3. Siena College: Reached 25% of the 2013 incoming Freshman class (200+ students) with “Fair Trade 101” presentations.
  4. Phillips Exeter Academy and Rollins College: Both successfully worked with their athletics departments to order Fair Trade soccer balls for their soccer teams – just in time for the World Cup!


New Resources

Drive Impact – Pass a Policy

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

New Website

– Forum


Looking Forward

2013/14 proved to be a breakout year for Fair Trade Colleges and Universities. More schools declared than ever before and we managed to drastically increase our impact. This next year we look forward to more successes! Keep your heads up for:

  • A Back-to-School Event Package
  • Fair Trade Month in October – this year’s theme: “Share the Fair”
  • Opportunities to share and get together with other Fair Traders

Take Action Now

Did your campus succeed but not get recognized? OR have you had trouble getting momentum going? Head to the Fair Trade Campaigns Forum to either add your knowledge or ask others for guidance!


What are you proud of?  Share below!

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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.