UC Irvine Becomes 51st Fair Trade University in Nation

Fair Trade Campaigns May 4, 2018

Irvine, CA (May 4, 2018) – UC Irvine, 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 USA 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

The Fair Trade campaign at UC Irvine was created to increase awareness and availability of Fair Trade events and products on campus. The Fair Trade campaign was initiated in August 2017 by Lotus Thai, and is made up of a steering committee of undergraduate students including a Global Food Initiative Student Fellow, Social Ecology Field Study students, Dining’s Green Captains, Campus as a Living Lab students, and Global Sustainability Resource Center advocates. The campaign’s success in achieving the designation was a culmination of efforts by UCI Hospitality & Dining, Aramark, The Hill, faculty, and students. Throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, UCI Hospitality & Dining held seven educational events, added Fair Trade products to 13 of its locations, and collaborated with The Hill to ensure Fair Trade options were available through the student bookstore. In May 2018, UC Irvine signed a resolution, which was supported by Vice Chancellor Thomas Parham and Associate Chancellor of Sustainability Wendell Brase.

UC Irvine is now one of the largest Fair Trade campuses in the country and the fourth UC campus to become a Fair Trade University (after UCSD in 2010, UCLA in 2016 and UC Berkeley in 2018). Two or more Fair Trade products now available in UC Irvine’s 14 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.

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, Fairtrade America, and Fair for Life, 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 FairTradeCampaigns.org for more information

To join or support UC Irvine Fair Trade, visit us online: fairtradecampaigns.org/campaign/university-of-california-irvine.

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Fair Trade Campaigns, National Organizer, Fair Trade Communities