Breaking New Ground: Looking Back at the 2015-16 Academic Year
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 2015, Fair Trade Colleges & Universities started its 7th year with:
- 29 Declared Colleges and Universities
As of July 2016 there are now:
- 37 Declared Colleges and Universities (including four first in their states and the largest Fair Trade public university)
- 105+ Active Campaigns
Let’s Dig a Bit Deeper…
To better understand what our Fair Trade champions accomplished on campuses across the country this past year, we sent out an End-of-Year Survey for in-progress campaigns still working on achieving the five goals and asked declared campuses to fill out an annual report. 70+ campaigns responded! Here are some key takeaways:
227: Total number of new Fair Trade advocates that joined the movement this last year; that’s an average of 2+ new advocates per campaign!
86%: Percentage of Campaigns that hosted at least 2 Fair Trade events (1/2 of all campaigns hosted at least 4 events!)
242: Total number of Fair Trade events organized by campaigns across the country.
50: Average number of participants that attended events organized by campaigns.
28: Number of new campaigns started (welcome to the movement!)
83%: Percentage of campaigns that participated in National Programs including Fair Trade Finals and Back to School (Record number participated in Spring Fair Trade Finals: 40+!)
Numerous achievements came out of this last year’s efforts – here’s a few that stood out:
Eight college & university campuses earned Fair Trade status since December 2015:
- Gustavus Adolphus
- Carroll College
- Point Loma Nazarene Universit
- Butler University
- Fordham University
- Colorado State University
- California Lutheran University
- University of California, Los Angeles
Along with eight K – 12 schools:
- St. Martin of Tours Academy
- St. Ignatius High School
- Berkeley High School
- St. John’s Jesuit High School and Academy
- Westover School
- Walsh Jesuit High School
- Albany School of Humanities
- Bishop Lynch High School
It’s clear that our movement is expanding — and breaking some new ground along the way. Several of our newly declared campuses marked important milestones for Fair Trade Colleges & Universities!
- UCLA became the largest university in the country to commit to sourcing Fair Trade products!
- Four Campuses became the FIRST Fair Trade College / University in their state!
- Two K – 12 Schools became the FIRST Fair Trade Schools in their state!
- Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO had more than 500+ students turn out for their Fair Trade Finals spring event which they co-hosted with their food service provider, Chartwells.
- Saint Mary’s College of California hosted their Annual Fair Trade Festival in April and had 1000+ students, staff and faculty stop by throughout the day. They invited 20+ Fair Trade vendors and organizations and collaborated with Sodexo on a delicious lunch!
In the End-of-Year Survey, many of you asked for more resources and we listened! Here are a few new resources on Fair Trade products, ways to retain members, the need for women’s empowerment, and environment sustainability:
- Fair Trade Product List (including the most commonly found FT products on college & university campuses)
- Sustainable Leadership 101
- Women’s Empowerment 101
- Fair Trade Sugar 101
- Fair Trade & Environmental Sustainability 101
With so many achievements throughout the year, several media highlights appeared across the country – here are a few noteworthy ones:
- Manhattan College Fair Trade Month 2015
- Gustavus Adolphus College Becomes First Fair Trade College in Minnesota
- St. John’s for Fair Trade to Host Screening of Dukale’s Dream
- Butler Becomes Indiana’s First Fair Trade Campus
- Why You Should Support Fair Trade at Northwestern
- Carroll College Now Fair Trade College
- Fordham Becomes Fair Trade University
- UCLA Attains Fair-Trade University Status After Four-Year Endeavor
Quotes From Campaigners
We asked our campaigns what their greatest accomplishments were from the past year and here are a few of their responses:
“The greatest accomplishments within the past year was hosting our annual Fair Trade Fair. This event is town and campus wide and promotes collaboration. While Fair Trade vendors throughout the Northeast are invited to come and sell their items and discuss the importance of Fair Trade, local vendors or locally produced and crafted items are also welcome. The point of the Faire is really to encourage conscious consumerism.” – Keene State College
“Becoming a Fair Trade College! Connecting with Catholic Relief Services and getting the campus more interested/aware of our campaign.” – Carroll College
“I would say our two biggest accomplishments were our two events. Our first event was an all-day promotion of fair trade during Seton Hill University’s World Week, and the second was our coffee talk event in collaboration with Campus Ministry and the student art organization at Seton Hill. We brought in two different speakers (including one from Ten Thousand Villages) and sold fair trade coffee, as well as quality mugs crafted by Seton Hill students. I think the second event was especially popular, and we hope to continue it in the future.” – Seton Hill University
2015/16 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:
- A Back-to-School Webinar Series
- Fair Trade Month in October – Photofest will be reoccurring this year… stay tuned for details!
- Regional Conferences (Southern California, Mid-Atlantic, New England)
- Fair Trade Finals Fall Program
- 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!