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My Experience with the SFU Fair Trade Ambassador Program

May 26, 2024

Last semester, I decided to join the SFU Fair Trade Ambassador program since I have always had an interest in food products and how sustainable they are. I learned a lot about the struggles of producers and their families in the Global South, and it has motivated me to step up and make a difference. Fairtrade logos or symbols on products identify them as Fairtrade products, which is how we differentiate them from non-Fairtrade products. Many consumers are interested in how their products are sourced and want the producers to have livable and sustainable wages, given how often these producers work in all kinds of weather and harsh conditions with long working hours.

It is important to have good knowledge and know where to retrieve resources on Fair Trade websites. There are YouTube videos that teach us more about Fair Trade. Companies make many ethical claims but consumers need to be cautious about which logos are recognized as Fair Trade.

The SFU Fair Trade Ambassador program has several upcoming events to increase awareness, networking and fun educational activities. For example, we will host a booth at #KnowYourSFU on April 4th and 11th! Kylee Pocrnich, our Program Coordinator and a Fair Trade SFU ambassador, also went to Montreal for a conference to gain more knowledge on Fair Trade. It was Canada's 9th National Fair Trade Conference, hosted by Concordia University on March 16th-17th. Speakers and activists came together to discuss the challenges faced by producers in the Global South and to leverage each other’s passion to grow the movement for the betterment of these producers. 

As ambassadors we enjoy giving out Fair Trade bananas and chocolates at campus events and letting students know about the significance of Fair Trade. We care about sustainability, equality, work justice and fairness for producers. Another important part of our program is educating elementary students on Fair Trade, and we have recently presented to University Highlands Elementary School (UHE) on Burnaby Mountain handing all students  Fairtrade bananas. UHE is BC’s only Fair Trade school, and the teachers have a lot of knowledge and awareness of this topic. It is engaging to have fun activities and discussions with elementary students. It is always exciting to learn more about the benefits of Fair Trade and to share these experiences with others. 

 

Author: Monita Cheng

Supporting Author: Kylee Pocrnich

Editor: Mark McLaughlin