Breaking New Ground: Looking Back at the 2015-16 Academic Year

FT Campaigns Intern June 22, 2016

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

The Movement is Growing!eoy blog pic

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 report70+ 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+!)

 Picture for middle section Blog

Great Successes

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:

  1. Gustavus Adolphus
  2. Carroll College
  3. Point Loma Nazarene Universit
  4. Butler University
  5. Fordham University
  6. Colorado State University 
  7. California Lutheran University 
  8. University of California, Los Angeles 

Along with eight K – 12 schools:

  1. St. Martin of Tours Academy 
  2. St. Ignatius High School
  3. Berkeley High School 
  4. St. John’s Jesuit High School and Academy 
  5. Westover School 
  6. Walsh Jesuit High School 
  7. Albany School of Humanities 
  8. Bishop Lynch High School 

Notable Achievements

It’s clear that our movement is expanding — and breaking some new ground along the way. Several of our newly declared campuses marked important pic for end of year blogmilestones for Fair Trade Colleges & Universities!

  • UCLA became the largest university in the country to commit to sourcing Fair Trade products!
  • 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!

New Resources

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:


Media Highlights 

With so many achievements throughout the year, several media highlights appeared across the country – here are a few noteworthy ones:

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 accPic for bottom section blogomplishments 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


Looking Forward

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:

  • 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!

One Comment

  1. Siena College was proud to celebrate our 5th Year of our Declaration as a Fair Trade College! We gave out Fair Trade Birthday Cake to members of our campus community! Other successful events include working with Ben & Jerry’s to provide Ice Cream to families on First Year Student Move in. Two series of Fair Trade Your Finals! Check out our Facebook Page to view our events!

    viper8895 from Private: Albany, NY - 8 years ago

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