Oxford University awarded in nationwide Fairtrade University and College Award

The University, Colleges and Students’ Union were delighted to be awarded Fairtrade University One star status to mark their achievements over the past two years. 

Representatives from the University, partnering colleges and students’ union have been working on expanding the variety and quantity of Fairtrade items that are sold in the University, along with raising awareness to the values of this scheme alongside other ethical consumption choices. 

Oxford University’s Fairtrade initiative enjoys the partnership of University departments, GLAM, Estates, Oxford SU, Compass catering services and a group of colleges. The partnership works towards awareness-raising and procurement coordination. 

In the coming year, we intend to expand this partnership by including more departments and colleges in the scheme, as well as exploring the use of a broader range of Fairtrade products. 

University staff and students consume more than 30,000 cups of coffee and tea each month.  By choosing to serve Fairtrade in our outlets, the University supports fair pay and better work and living conditions for producers throughout the world. The Fairtrade scheme also benefits the environment.  It offers guidance and monitoring regarding sustainable agriculture practices, biodiversity preservation, equality and more.     

"I am delighted that the University and five colleges retained their Fairtrade status, and that other colleges are diligently working towards it. Oxford University as a whole is an enabler for change and educates thousands of people every year. The colleges can facilitate conversations about the change each of us can make every day and lead by example. The commitment to fair trade, social justice and empowerment in these settings should be impactful and long lasting."

Bartholomew Ashton, Lady Margaret Hall Domestic Bursar and a member of the Oxford University’s Fairtrade partnership.

We want to take this opportunity to thank the brilliant Oxford students who gave their time as volunteer auditors. They were trained by the National Union of Students (NUS) and the Fairtrade Foundation, equipping them with skills and experience in conducting an audit and allowing them to engage with the project and understand the opportunities as well as complexities that arise from it. 

A commitment to Fairtrade is part of Oxford University’s Sustainable Food policy.

For more information contact sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk.