The Fair Trade Collective
The FTC are a passionate group of students who are determined to make the University a more ethical and socially responsible place to work and study.
What they do:
- Advocate for, educate about and promote the Fair Trade movement
- Host on-campus events, including market stalls; forums and Q&As; film screenings; and morning teas
- Collaborate with other social justice clubs like VGen, the Oxfam Group and Amnesty Club to draw attention to important global issues.
In 2015, the Fair Trade Collective was shortlisted for two ACTS Green Gown Awards in the Student Engagement and Student Achievement (Jason Tran) categories.
Read more about sustainable purchasing.
- What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between producers and consumers.
Fair trade offers producers improved terms of trade and allows them to improve their lives and plan for their future. Fair trade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
- How does fair trade work?
Every participant in the fair trade supply chain, from the producer through to the end manufacturer of products, must comply with the Fairtrade Standards. External auditing of this chain of custody ensures that the product was produced to Fairtrade standards, that the Fairtrade Price and Premium were paid to the farmers and workers, and that the final product meets Fairtrade content requirements.
- Who benefits from Fair Trade?
Around 1.3 million workers and farmers in 70 developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America are positively impacted by the Fairtrade system. Including their dependents, six million people are affected.
- What is the Fairtrade Price and why is it important?
- The ‘Fairtrade Price’ is the minimum price that a buyer of Fairtrade products has to pay to a Producer Organisation for their product. This price acts as a safety net when world markets fall below a sustainable level.
- Doesn’t ‘free trade’ help workers too?
Free trade agreements could also be of benefit to third-world producers, however, this is not at all mutually exclusive to Fairtrade. Third-world poverty is a multi-faceted problem that needs a multi-faceted solution. Fairtrade looks after workers and producers from a grass-roots level, while freer trade agreements tend to look after producers on a trade level only.
- How is the Fair Trade certification different from others?
There are a growing number of ‘ethical’ coffee and tea certifications, including Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified. While these (and other) schemes promote sustainable farming and better opportunities for workers, they do not set a minimum price, and do not tend to address other inequities in the supply chain such as gender discrimination and hire labor exploitation. In comparison to other certifications, Fair Trade is the most rigorous and far-reaching in what it achieves.
Read about what the university is doing to promote FairTrade on campus.