Bournemouth University: BU and SUBU achieve Fairtrade University status

Bournemouth University and SUBU have been awarded a three-star Fairtrade University Award by Fairtrade Foundation, National Union of Students (NUS) and Students Organising for Sustainability UK (SOS-UK). The award recognises BU’s work to embed ethical and sustainable practices through our curriculum, procurement, research and campaigns over the 2020-2022 period.

Not only did BU become a Fairtrade University, but we achieved the highest ranking possible with a three-star status, achieving a total of 530 out of 585 possible points for our commitments across strategy, catering, student collaboration and a number of innovative actions. These actions included our first ever Climate Justice Now student programme, ensuring a range of Fairtrade options are sold across all BU and SUBU outlets, working to embed ethical trade within student courses and collaborating with local and national Fairtrade groups to further our work.

The award was audited by trained students who recognised how BU can “see the importance of ethical and environmental product, [and] think about society”.

BU first achieved Fairtrade University status in 2006. This is our first completion of the new Fairtrade University Award, led in partnership with NUS, which has made the process much more ambitious and fulfilling.

The award has celebrated how even more people, including students, are helping to support farmers and workers on Fairtrade farms across the world. Growing awareness of Fairtrade will help build the market for the people who produce our products, ensuring they receive a fair wage and income in order to improve the futures of their families and communities.

Fairtrade’s vision, of a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, can only be achieved by creating widespread understanding of the issues in global supply chains, and a sense of agency in every single coffee drinker, chocolate eater and banana fan in the UK. Embedding this work with our student and staff community is invaluable in helping us achieve the world we want, where producers can have secure futures. We recognise that the skills, habits and values that our students particularly develop during their time at BU may well last a lifetime and will enrich and contribute to a more just, sustainable global society.

The Fairtrade University Award team commented: “There has been a great deal of strong work undertaken by BU over the past two years, despite the challenges of furlough and students being off-site for a long period of time. This is commendable. There is evidence of a high standard work being integrated into teaching and research. The issues of sustainability and consumption remain high on the agenda and have become integrated into the life of the institutions.