Arizona State University, Most Innovative University in the US, Becomes 50th Fair Trade University in the Nation

Fair Trade Campaigns May 15, 2018

Tempe, AZ (May 2, 2018) – Fair Trade Campaigns, a grassroots movement mobilizing thousands of Fair Trade advocates, officially designates Arizona State University as the 50th and largest Fair Trade University in the nation. Fair Trade is an economic system that ensures consumers the products they buy were grown, harvested, crafted and traded in ways that improve lives and protect the environment. Fair Trade Campaigns officially recognizes schools in the U.S. committed to educating students about the issues of Fair Trade and sourcing Fair Trade products, like coffee, tea and bananas in cafeterias, offices and events.

Two or more Fair Trade products are now available in 25 campus dining and retail outlets across all four of ASU’s metropolitan campuses – Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe and West. This is not only momentous for the Fair Trade movement nationally, but also a commitment that will lead other large and public universities throughout the nation to follow suit. There are now more than 280 Fair Trade Campaigns in towns and cities, K-12 schools, congregations and college and university campuses across the country.

With more than 170 Fair Trade colleges and universities in the United Kingdom alone, the U.S. program grew out of work in Europe and the increasing demand for Fair Trade and ethically produced products to be incorporated into institutional purchasing. Fair Trade Campaigns sees the tremendous impact institutional purchasing in the U.S. can have on farmers and artisans worldwide.

“There are few things more exciting than seeing today’s youth come to understand
the role that they can play as consumers in making the world a more fair and just place.
To see them become not just conscious consumers, but advocates for Fair Trade, should challenge all of us to do the same.”
–  Billy Linstead Goldsmith, Director, Fair Trade Campaigns

The Fair Trade campaign at ASU was established to provide students access to Fair Trade products as well as educate students about ethical consumption practices. The campaign was initiated in fall 2016 by Mackenzie Masel and currently has five active members: Daniella Simari, Sydney Williamson, Tomera Wade, Tomeika Wade and Tadas Duskinas. The success of the campaign is attributed to the combined efforts of University Sustainability Practices, Aramark, Sun Devil Dining, Follett and students. Hannah Trigg, a graduate student and Aramark intern, worked with USP to draft the Fair Trade resolution to be signed by ASU President Michael Crow, Aramark District Manager Mike Mesenbrink, and Follett Senior VP of General Merchandise Carol Winter. The resolution was passed in spring 2018. The campaign is grateful to USP Program Manager, Lesley Michalegko, for her effort in carrying the resolution forward to ASU President Michael Crow. The campaign is also indebted to Aramark’s Sustainability Manager, Krista Hicks, and Sustainability Coordinator, Austin Johnson, for facilitating Fair Trade product placement across 25 Sun Devil Dining and retail outlets. Members of ASU’s Fair Trade campaign are currently focused on education outreach events to raise student awareness and plan to develop the campaign into an official ASU student organization in the fall of 2018.

“By becoming the largest Fair Trade University in the U.S. and committing to offer Fair Trade certified products at each dining and retail location on campus, ASU is driving positive impact for producers and their families,” said Fair Trade Campaigns Campus and Community Engagement Coordinator, Kylie Nealis. “ASU is a model for other large and public universities throughout the U.S. seeking to shift their purchasing to products that benefit both people and the planet. We are proud to have ASU on board as a leader in the Fair Trade movement.”

About Fair Trade Campaigns:  Fair Trade Campaigns is a grassroots movement mobilizing thousands of Fair Trade advocates on campuses and communities across the USA.  Fair Trade Campaigns recognize towns, colleges, universities, schools and congregations in the US for embedding Fair Trade purchasing practices and principles into policy, as well as the social foundations of their communities. Project collaborators include  Fair Trade USA, Fair for Life, and Fairtrade America third-party certifiers of Fair Trade products in the United States, the Fair Trade Federation, a North American trade association of organizations fully committed to Fair Trade.

Visit ASU Fair Trade to join or support:

About ASU: Arizona State University, ranked No. 1 “Most Innovative School” in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for three years in succession, has forged the model for a New American University by operating on the principle that learning is a personal and original journey for each student; that they thrive on experience, and the process of discovery cannot be bound by traditional academic disciplines. Through innovation and a commitment to accessibility, ASU has drawn pioneering researchers to its faculty even as it expands opportunities for qualified students. Visit for more information.

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