SFU renews its status as Fair Trade Campus for fourth consecutive year  

September 12, 2016
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For Mark McLaughlin, executive director, Ancillary Services at Simon Fraser University, providing fair trade products on campus is about a lot more than just coffee or tea. He says it’s all about driving change to improve the lives of small-scale farmers and their families.

In 2012, McLaughlin helped develop a campaign that earned SFU its designation as a Fair Trade Campus from Fairtrade Canada—only the second university in Canada to receive that designation. This month, for the fourth consecutive year, the University has once again earned Fair Trade Campus status.

“The fair trade growth across Canadian campuses is a reflection of changing student values,” says McLaughlin. “Students now expect the products they purchase to drive positive international social change. They aspire to improve the lives of small-scale farmers globally and we are at their side in this engagement.”

McLaughlin says that under the Fair Trade Campus requirements, all coffee served at SFU dining locations is Fairtrade certified, with fair trade tea and chocolate options available as well. Canada now has 17 Fair Trade campuses, including UBC, Selkirk College and UNBC representing British Columbia.

McLaughlin says SFU will continue to advocate on behalf of the growing fair trade movement, giving students the opportunity to participate in wide-scale social change.

 “We know there are no quick-fix solutions to tackling inequality, ending exploitation, and creating opportunity, but we can point to, and learn from, the tangible impact our work at SFU is having already. Real social change can happen when you combine the purchasing power of students across the country through fair trade.”

Says Sean McHugh, executive director of the Canadian Fair Trade Network, “We are proud to be working with leaders like Simon Fraser University that understand the global impact small steps can make.

“Through the Fair Trade Campus program and the newly launched Fair Trade Schools program, we are giving students the opportunity to drive the demand for Fairtrade products here in Canada, and truly make a difference globally.”

For more information or to get involved with fair trade events at Simon Fraser University, please visit www.sfu.ca/fairtrade.