UC Berkeley Becomes 49th Fair Trade University in Nation

Fair Trade Campaigns May 2, 2018

Berkeley, CA (April 25, 2018) – UC Berkeley, as part of a national initiative by Fair Trade Campaigns to engage university students in issues of global poverty, is proud to announce its official designation as a Fair Trade University. 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 US committed to educating students about the issues of Fair Trade and sourcing Fair Trade products, like coffee, tea and bananas in the cafeteria, offices and at events.

With over 170 Fair Trade Colleges and Universities in the United Kingdom alone, the US 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 US 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

Fair Trade Campaign at UC Berkeley was created to build the awareness and availability of Fair Trade at UC Berkeley. The Fair Trade Campaign was initiated in 2016 by Margaux Payton, and is made up of a steering committee of six undergraduate students including, Jennifer Daugherty, Lily Li, Mary Kruberg, Isadora Tran, and Emily Mantaro. The campaign’s success in achieving the designation was a culmination of efforts by the ASUC, Cal Dining Sustainability, faculty, and students. The ASUC passed a resolution in Spring 2017 in support of achieving the designation, sponsored by then ASUC Senator Rigel Robinson and signed soon after by Chancellor Carol Christ. Cal Dining Sustainability, a team of undergraduate students led by UC Berkeley employee Samantha Lubow, built the foundation for normalizing Fair Trade on campus with her work in the procurement of Fair Trade certified products in university contracts. The steering committee worked closely with the Cal Dining Sustainability Team to spread awareness about Fair Trade among students on campus through educational events.

UC Berkeley is now one of the largest Fair Trade campuses in the country and the third UC campus to become a Fair Trade University (after UCSD in 2010 and UCLA in 2016). Two or more Fair Trade products are now available in UC Berkeley’s 21 campus outlets. This is not only momentous for the Fair Trade movement nationally but hopefully a commitment that will lead other campuses in the University of California system to follow suit.

There are now over 280 Fair Trade Campaigns in towns, K-12 schools and congregations, as well as college and university campuses across the country, including Berkeley High School and the city of Berkeley.

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 USAFairtrade America, and Fair for Life, third-party certifiers of Fair Trade products in the United States, and the Fair Trade Federation, a North American trade association of organizations fully committed to Fair Trade.

To join or support UC Berkeley Fair Trade, visit fairtradecampaigns.org/campaign/uc-berkeley.

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