SFU named Canada’s only Fair Trade Gold Campus for 2nd year

September 10, 2021
Hundreds of bananas were handed out to students last week at the opening week Fair Trade booth in Convocation Mall on Burnaby's campus.

Simon Fraser University has been recognized by Fairtrade Canada and the Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN) for the second year in a row as the only educational institution in Canada to attain the highest level of Fair Trade Campus designations – the Fair Trade Gold Campus status. This designation reflects the noteworthy efforts of SFU Ancillary Services and the student Fair Trade Ambassadors.

Fair trade products are goods produced abroad which are traded to more ethical and sustainable standards than the status-quo in conventional trade. The certification works to provide a better quality of life to farmers and producers while battling issues such as child and forced labour, gender inequality and human rights abuse. The Gold Campus designation indicates that SFU meets all of the baseline criteria for a Fair Trade Campus, as well as elevated standards for product availability, visibility, education, and steering committee activity.

SFU has worked since 2012, when it was initially recognized as a Fair Trade Campus, to offer fair trade certified coffee, tea, bananas, chocolate and bookstore products.

Mark McLaughlin, Chief Commercial Services Officer, SFU Ancillary Services, says, “We know our actions are having an impact not only in the global south but also on other campuses across the country. The choices we make more than ever can have a meaningful and wide-reaching impact on producers and local businesses.”

A key pillar of SFU’s Fair Trade work is the award-winning, student-run Fair Trade Ambassador program, where students show leadership as educators and change-makers. Fair Trade ambassadors engage in outreach across the campus and larger community through workshops for Highlands Elementary School and SFU Childcare, events and presentations across the university, and communications online and through social media.

Nell Jedrzejczyk, SFU Fair Trade Ambassador Alumni and Canadian Fair Trade Network Co-op student had these reflections on her time in the program: “Getting involved with the Fair Trade Ambassador program was one of the best choices I could make while at SFU. The unique outreach opportunities offered a lot of room for me to grow. While I learned about the reality of global trade, I also came to understand how I can take on responsibility to share that knowledge and lead change in my community.”

If you’re a student passionate about social justice and sustainability, the Fair Trade Ambassador program offers a great opportunity to get involved on campus. The program is currently accepting new applications until Thursday, Sept. 23rd.

Learn more about Fair Trade at SFU at sfu.ca/fairtrade.