Makings AU a Fair Trade Campus
Fair trade is about connecting consumers more directly with the suppliers of a whole wide range of products. It is about acknowledging that, as consumers, we have a responsibility to buy products for which we know the creators are receiving a fair livelihood.
Fair trade certification labels stand as a guarantee that the product you are purchasing was produced with special attention to the welfare of its producers, as well as the environment. The label is also symbolic of efforts to transform a broken and unjust world trade system.
For almost 10 years, the AU Fair Trade Student Association (FTSA) has been pushing for the expansion of fair trade products on campus and in the local community. Our persistent campaigning helped bring many fair trade products to campus, like coffee from the Dav or the Pura Vida Coffee offered by Bon Appétit. In 2005, we infamously worked with other groups to block a wholly unfair trade Starbucks from opening in the Mary Graydon Center in favor of a fair trade coffee shop. This year the FTSA is campaigning to get AU itself to be “fair trade certified.” First, this means making fair trade products available in every store and restaurant on campus and making their use standard for University events. In the long term, it means creating mechanisms to ensure that products the University buys come from suppliers who take good care of their producers.
American University Fair Trade Student Association