By: Grace Hagan, Co-Editor in Chief
The Fair Trade movement has been gaining momentum. As the name indicates, Fair Trade ensures that producers in developing countries are paid fair prices for their goods. Fair Trade USA, the leading Fair Trade certifier in the US, said the organization works to give “farmers fair prices, workers safe conditions, and entire communities resources for fair, healthy and sustainable lives.”
Once a product is certified, its Fair Trade status is indicated by an official symbol: a yin-yang-like circle with a abstract human figure raising his or her arm. Fair Trade International, the global governing body of the Fair Trade movement, explained, “The raised arm represents the optimism of producers, linking the everyday determination of people in developing countries with the aspiration of consumers around the world.” Any product from coffee beans to clay bracelets can earn a Fair Trade seal.
University of Dayton students may have seen the Fairtrade logo on various products at the Starbucks on Brown Street. But soon, students may not even have to venture off campus to find Fair Trade products. UD is in the final stage to receive a Fair Trade university designation from Fair Trade Campaigns. “Fair Trade Campaigns recognizes towns, colleges, universities, schools and congregations in the US for embedding Fair Trade practices and principles into policy,” the organization said in an official statement.
The fifth and final step of the Fair Trade Campaigns certification requires the University to write a resolution pledging the school to Fair Trade practices. Signed by then President Curran, the resolution echoed the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It stated, “The University, as a large-scale employer and consumer and leader in international education, fully endorses the national community’s call to ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.’”
UD’s Fair Trade resolution details the areas that would change with the Fair Trade Campaigns designation. Fair Trade products will be available in dining halls and offices, as well as at catered events and campus stores. The University will also back the movement with education to “increase on-campus awareness of Fair Trade.”
According to University of Dayton Provost Paul Benson, “[The Fair Trade resolution] aligns our practices with our Catholic, Marianist principles, and affirms our dedication to deepening these practices.” With a submitted resolution, now the University awaits a response from Fair Trade Campaigns. Follow @FlyerNews to stay updated on UD’s Fair Trade journey.
The University’s full Fair Trade resolution can be found here.