Office of the President

Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor

Petter's Perspective: Notes from the President

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Got an ethical appetite? Put your money where your mouth is!

May 14, 2012

Congratulations to all those who have worked so hard to achieve Simon Fraser University’s recent Fair Trade designation from Fairtrade Canada.

The designation highlights SFU's adherence to fair trade objectives and practices: better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and improved terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
 
Some may recall that last spring, during the envision>SFU consultation process, a team of student “superheroes” swooped down on one of my hallway chats to wrap me in a cape and make the case for fair trade status.   
 
At the time, the University, the SFU Student Society and campus food providers were already working closely with Fairtrade Canada to achieve fair trade designation.
 
As a result of their efforts, all SFU-controlled food service operations must now provide fair trade coffee and tea.
 
I also want to tip my hat to those independent vendors such as Chartwells and Renaissance Coffee who have voluntarily agreed to abide by fair trade practices.

By supporting fair-trade producers, they are not only playing a leadership role locally and engaging students in this important mission, they're also making an impact in distant communities.
 
But there is still more to be done to integrate fair trade practices more deeply across our food services. I hope it is not long before holdouts – I'm looking at you Tim Horton's – join the fair trade fold!
 
I would urge those of you who have an appetite for ethical eating to take a stand every time you purchase a sandwich or coffee: you can encourage compliance by choosing to frequent fair trade compliant eateries. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is!
 

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