Acadia has achieved its designation as a Fair Trade Campus. The announcement came from ASU President Grace HB and Acadia President Dr. Peter Ricketts on September 25th in the ASU Students’ Centre.
“Students are engaging in ethical discussions as part of their education and the Fair Trade program instills the values we learn in the classroom” Grace said. “Paying people fairly for the work they provide is something students support.”
Acadia is the first school in the Maritimes to attain a Fair Trade designation. Fair trade means that farmers are paid fair prices, have decent working conditions, and business is conducted on fair terms, unlike many multinational corporations.
To earn this certification all coffee, three teas, and one chocolate that are Fair Trade certified must be available for consumption at retail outlets across campus. The range of products available will expand as time goes on, with a committee being established to oversee the program.
Last year Just Us! worked with Acadia to develop a fair trade coffee and held an open design competition for the blend’s logo. Hacha Java the winner, submitted by fourth year kinesiology student Quentin Hovarth.
ASU Sustainability Officer George Philp was overwhelmingly positive about the news. “Becoming a Fair Trade campus means that Acadia and the ASU’s product offerings reflect their visions to foster a more sustainable and socially responsible campus community”. More importantly, Philp notes that “in the long-term it sets a precedent that really big ideas and initiatives can succeed at Acadia. The success of this project proves that a small group of Acadia students, who care a whole lot about something, can make a massive difference in our community.”
Acadia now joins UBC, McGill, the University of Western Ontario, and 25 other campuses as part of the fair trade movement. UBC Vancouver was the first campus in Canada to go fair trade in 2011.
Fair trade products will now be offered at various outlets on campus, including the ASU Students’ Centre, BAC, and Huggins.