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Why the University of Bradford is backing Fairtrade Fortnight


Official Fairtrade Fortnight image

Fairtrade “of global importance” says Vice Chancellor

The University of Bradford is backing Fairtrade Fortnight with a series of events for students and staff.

The two-week awareness campaign, from February 22 to March 7, focuses on the theme of climate change and will be marked locally with an online breakfast run by Bradford Cathedral and attended by Vice Chancellor Professor Shirley Congdon.

Professor Congdon said: “Fairtrade Fortnight is an initiative of global significance, which ultimately benefits society and the wider economy. We’re proud to be involved with this year’s event. The principle of paying overseas farmers a fair wage and improving their working conditions, while promoting sustainability and addressing climate change is something that should matter to everyone.

“These principles are also completely aligned with the University’s own core beliefs of equality, diversity and inclusion. Fairtrade is something we’re passionate about and will continue to support in the future.”

Fairtrade Fortnight will culminate with a 'make your own fairtrade breakfast' online event on March 7 from 9am-10am.

It’s about sustainability

Councillor Adrian Farley, Bradford Metropolitan District Council cabinet member for Childrens’ Services and Fairtrade Champion for Bradford, said: “It’s about justice, equality and fairness. Supporting Fairtrade is such a small act for the individual consumer and yet it has such a massive impact for those in developing countries.”

Karen Palframan, Chair of Bradford Fairtrade Zone, said: “Fairtrade is a global movement for change to ensure that trade works for everyone and that we don’t exploit those at the bottom of the supply chain. It is about empowering producers and lifting them out of poverty. Fairtrade is also about environmental best practice.”

Mike de Villers, from Bradford Cathedral and a member of Baildon Fairtrade Group, said: “Fairtrade is really about sustainability. It’s about supporting people so they can go on living where they are - the alternative is we are not going to get those products because people will leave the land. Fairtrade helps farmers build in resilience against climate change through training and development of new products. Climate change effects remain the key focus of the entire Fairtrade movement.”

What is the University doing?

Alison Thickett, Hospitality and Retail Manager at the University of Bradford said the university was proud to support the event, adding that it was a long term goal to regain the University’s Fairtrade accreditation.

She said: “We aim to embed sustainability and support Fairtrade in all that we do. We believe that we should go beyond the basics of ethical business practices and embrace our responsibility to people and the planet.”

University shops stock a wide range of products all year round using sole suppliers of Fairtrade and ethically sourced products.

How the University is supporting Fairtrade and sustainability:-

  • Our retail outlets aim to use suppliers that provide biodegradable packaging
  • Our catering outlets recycle all cooking oils
  • Our bars only use environmentally friendly resources
  • Promoting Fairtrade Fortnight and signposting on campus products and services from the likes of Starbucks, Juice Burst and Divine
  • Running a competition to win a Fairtrade hamper, with tickets available from the e Atrium Coffee Shop

Online Breakfast Selfie Challenge

Bradford Fairtrade Zone will be staging an online breakfast on March 7, from 9am-10am, urging participants to source their own Fairtrade products and take a selfie to promote the event on social media using the hashtag: #BreakfastSelfie 

The Fairtrade Foundation is organising a free online ‘Choose the world you want’ festival.  

Fairtrade Yorkshire is organising a free online ‘Fairtrade Connections’ community arts festival. Bradford Fairtrade Zone is sponsoring the Fairtrade-themed music event from Ghana on Feb 26. The Cathedral’s annual Fairtrade Breakfast is going online this year and is open to all.