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SUNY Geneseo’s Fair Trade Campaign Update
Curious about what a fair trade campaign is and what it consists of? Check out our previous blog post about how to start a campaign and become a fair trade university.
SUNY Geneseo has made great strides with its fair trade campaign since its start in the Fall of 2013. We checked in with Ben who has joined the national steering committee for Fair Trade Colleges & Universities and is on their student leadership team. Here’s what Ben has been up to at Geneseo.
We built our team:
– We have an incredible backing of students, faculty, and staff behind our fair trade endeavors. We started a Fair Trade Club that will head the campaign and we have a handful of professors and staff who support and advise our club.
– Next semester, Fair Trade Club will (hopefully) become a recognized student organization. Once recognized by our university, we will have access to campus facilities and a variety of benefits to help integrate our practices into the campus.
– Fair Trade Club will meet once a week to plan events and fundraisers and expand our movement to others on campus through education and awareness.
We’re reaching out to campus outlets and working closely with our dining services:
– We meet with our dining services (CAS – Campus Auxiliary Services) about twice a month to discuss potential new fair trade products on campus and work on promoting and advertising the products already available.
– So far, we have Breakfast in the Fingerlakes fair trade coffee, Honest Tea, Larabars (the chocolate flavor is made with fair trade cocoa!), Glee Gum (made with fair trade sugar), Numi Organic Tea, and our Starbucks on campus offers their fair trade Italian Roast coffee. Available at our bookstore on campus is Badger Lip Balm (fair trade cocoa butter).
– We’ll need a few more products to reach the minimum of 2 products per outlet to earn fair trade status – but we’re getting there!
We’re educating about fair trade in the classroom:
– We have reached out to several professors on campus asking if we can present about fair trade in their class.
– We’ve presented in Ethical Issues in Business (a philosophy class) and we will be presenting in Intro to Global Social Change (a sociology class) and Intro to International Politics (a political science class).
– Additionally, we were pleased to hear that fair trade is already taught in Cultural Anthropology. The requirement for this section to earn fair trade status is 2 educational sessions per semester.
We’re integrating fair trade into events:
– We’re working toward changing over the coffees at various offices around campus to fair trade options.
– This month Fair Trade Club will be hosting a fair trade bake-off for World Fair Trade Day using a plethora of fair trade ingredients provided by Fair Trade Campaigns! Yum!
– May 1st, we’ll have a table alongside many vendors showcasing food samples of potential new products to sell on campus. We’re incredibly happy to have a table where we’ll be sampling FREE fair trade Divine Chocolate!
We’re working on passing a fair trade resolution:
– This will be the final step in earning fair trade status for SUNY Geneseo. Fair Trade Club will approach administration with the request that Geneseo, in writing, promises to continue its fair trade efforts on campus.
– One of SUNY Geneseo’s seven stated values is to promote “…the development of ethical citizens.” To be an ethical citizen, one must realize the importance in fair business practices. SUNY Geneseo is also committed to working together “…to develop socially responsible citizens”. If we can stand by products that we consume daily (coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, chocolate) with confidence, we have become just that – a socially responsible citizen.
**Check out our Fair Trade Colleges & Universities profile page to see our progress in becoming a fair trade university, photos and upcoming events!
**While you’re at it, check out and “like” our Facebook page!
Interested in starting your own campaign? Drop Ben a line in the comments. He’d love to help you get started or answer any questions you have!
Where else can you start a Fair Trade Campaign? At your school, place of worship, or in your town! Check out http://fairtradecampaigns.org for more info.
Start a campaign. Change the world.