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Uni confirms commitment to Fairtrade at awards ceremony

Fairtrade ceremony

Tue 15th May, 2012

“A university provides its students with an ethical framework for their future behaviour and holds up a mirror to its community”, Vice Chancellor Professor Les Ebdon CBE DL said, accepting the University of Bedfordshire’s Fairtrade Status Award last week (11 May).

Professor Ebdon jointly received the Award alongside Students’ Union President John Perkins at a special reception held at the University’s Putteridge Bury campus.

Bedfordshire is now one of more than 160 universities in the UK who are committed to supporting and using Fairtrade products and to raising awareness of Fairtrade and the benefits that it brings to producers in developing countries with students and staff.

The Award was presented by Councillor Don Worlding and Mrs Moyra Worlding, the Mayor and Mayoress of Luton.

Professor Ebdon added: “Achieving University Fairtrade Status is not an end but a beginning. At present the University is ranked 53rd out of 138 Higher Education institutions in the Universities Green League and we are confident we will be increasing our standing later this year. As their criteria include ethical procurement and sustainable food our move to Fairtrade will help us meet their criteria too.”

On receiving the Award John Perkins said: “I’m delighted the University has been recognised for its hard work to achieve University Fairtrade Status. In recent years UBSU has placed achieving Fairtrade Status at the core of what it does and since 2010 all hot drinks sold in UBSU sites are Fairtrade. We are committed to expanding our merchandise as Fairtrade products.

“I’d also like to specially mention the University’s former Students Activities Manager Ciaran O’Brien, who was a driving force for achieving Fairtrade Status at Bedfordshire, having worked closely with Luton Council of Faiths, Grassroots and the Luton Fairtrade Steering Group to initiate the campaign for Fairtrade Status at the University.

“I’d like to thank the Mayor for this award and reaffirm UBSU’s commitment to buying and promoting Fairtrade as it benefits so many people around the world.”

The event was hosted by the University’s Energy and Environment Manager Adam Higgin.

The ceremony was also attended by the Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins; Maureen Borbone, Trustee of Grassroots; Ryad Khodabocus, Luton Council of Faiths; Julia Fuller, Co-operative and Membership Officer and Michele Flynn Chief Executive Officer, University of Bedfordshire Students’ Union.

Also in attendance from the University were Donald Harley, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Resources); Graham Blake, Director of Facilities and Estates; Ian James, Head of Facilities Management and Professor David Barrett, Dean of Partnerships.

The Co-op kindly supplied a range of Fairtrade products for guests including tea, coffee and chocolate.

The University now fulfils five key Fairtrade Foundation goals to achieve Fairtrade Status:

  • The University created a Fairtrade policy
  • Fairtrade foods are made available for sale in all campus shops and used in all cafés, restaurants and bars on campus
  • Fairtrade foods (for example, coffee and tea) are served at all meetings hosted by the University and the Students’ Union
  • There is a commitment to campaign for increased Fairtrade consumption on campus
  • A cross-University Fairtrade Steering Group has been established
Bedfordshire University

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