Academic Year in Review: Fair Trade Firsts

Kylie Nealis July 22, 2015

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

The Movement is Growing.FTCU year recap for blog

At the end of August 2014, Fair Trade Colleges & Universities started its 7th year with:

  • 25 Declared Colleges and Universities
  • 90 Active Campaigns 

As of July 2015 there are now:

  • 29 Declared Colleges and Universities (including campuses in two new states!)
  • 125 Active Campaigns (40% increase!)

Let’s Dig a Bit Deeper…

To better understand what Fair Trade champions accomplished on campuses across the country this past year, we sent out an End-of-Year Survey, and more than 60 campaigns responded! Below are some key takeaways:

435: Total number of Fair Trade advocates that joined the movement this last year; that’s an average of 10 new advocates per campaign!

83%: Percentage of Campaigns that hosted at least 2 Fair Trade events (1/3 of campaigns hosted at least 4!)

132: Total number of Fair Trade events organized by campaigns across the country.

45: Average number of participants that attended events organized by campaigns across the country.

85%: Percentage of campaigns that participated in National Programs including Back-to-SchoolFair Trade MonthValentines Day and World Fair Trade Day.

seattle u

Great Successes

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

Declarationsjohn carroll

It’s clear that our movement is expanding — and breaking some new ground along the way. Four campuses earned Fair Trade status since last August and some marked important milestones for Fair Trade Colleges & Universities!

Notable Achievements

Thanks to our campaigners for staying in touch through surveys, social media and our forum. We’ve heard of some great achievements over the last year! Here are three that stood out:

  1. Seattle University expanded their horizons with a trip to Nicaragua in March 2015 to study Fair Trade coffee. This resulted in a new project to purchase 600 pounds of coffee to roast and offer on campus.
  2. California Lutheran University tapped into a new market when their bookstore began offering a line of Fair Trade certified sweatshirts.
  3. Keene State College changed things up with a Spa Night’ during mid-terms. They provided Fair Trade spa products including lotions, lip balms, scrubs and face washes and offered  fair trade tea, coffee & chocolate.


New Resources

In the End-of-Year Survey, many of you asked for more resources and we listened! Stay tuned for a future blog post highlighting some of our top resources. In the meantime, here are two new resources to help your campaign achieve Goal #2 – Reach Out to Campus Outlets:


Looking Forward

2014/15 proved to be a ground-breaking year for Fair Trade Colleges and Universities. We look forward to more successes next year! Keep an eye out for:

  • Back-to-School Webinar Series & Event Package
  • Fair Trade Month in October – theme coming soon!
  • Opportunities to share and interact with other Fair Traders

Take Action Now

Did your campus succeed but not get recognized? Have you had trouble gaining momentum? 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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Kylie Nealis, National Organizer for Fair Trade Colleges & Universities

Kylie brings over 5 years of community organizing and non-profit experience to Fair Trade USA, previously working with Global Exchange and Sierra Club. At Global Exchange she took on a variety of roles including Community Rights Program Associate, Fair Trade Campaign Coordinator, Fair Trade Store Sales Associate and Interim Director of Operations. For the past two years she worked in the Executive Office at Sierra Club providing support to C-level staff and the Board of Directors. Kylie is knowledgeable and passionate about Fair Trade, climate and energy issues, human rights and social and economic justice. Kylie graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Community Studies and Politics. She also lived in Thailand for 5 years and is conversational in Thai and learning Spanish. In her free time, Kylie enjoys being outdoors, hiking and traveling.