Waterloo Receives Fair Trade Campus Designation

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Proud to be a Fair Trade Campus banner

Waterloo is thrilled to announce its successful receipt of the Fair Trade Campus Designation, recognizing campus-wide efforts by staff and students to integrate Fairtrade certified coffee, tea, and chocolate options.

Fair trade is a global framework that supports sustainable development for farmers and farming communities by:

  • Guaranteeing they receive a minimum fair price for coffee, cocoa, tea, and other products they produce, and raising living standards
  • Supporting decent working conditions for families
  • Investing in communities
  • Protecting the natural environment

The Fair Trade Campus program is designed for universities and colleges to demonstrate leadership in enabling these efforts. Waterloo committed to achieve the designation as part of its Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

“Our students and campus community have been passionate in supporting Fair Trade products, in particular coffee and tea, for many years,” says Lee Elkas, Director of UW Food Services. “In partnership with local company Baden Coffee, UW Food Services launched our Fair Trade coffee and tea program in 2008. Since then we’ve added Planet Bean and Settlement Coffee, and have incorporated more Fair Trade teas and chocolate. The values of the Fair Trade designation align with Food Services and the shared commitment to fair compensation, treatment of employees and protection of the environment.”  

To receive and maintain the designation, Waterloo must meet several criteria, including:

  • Providing Fairtrade certified coffee, tea, and chocolate options at all University and student-run food outlets on campus wherever those products are sold (excluding franchises).
  • Promoting the available products and encourage students and employees to select Fairtrade options.

An enormous thanks goes out to all staff and students who have made this happen.

“We are very proud of our journey and the commitment from the University to officially receive our Fare Trade Campus designation,” says Elkas.

Students have also been driving the efforts to bring in more Fairtrade certified products for many years, including through the Sustainable Campus Initiative Feds service and Engineers Without Borders.

“With over 30,000 students on campus most terms, students play a vital role in keeping campus sustainable,” says Seneca Velling, VP of Operations and Finance for the Federation of Students (Feds). “From reducing waste and putting it in the correct bins to ethical purchases from fair trade farmers, student consumers drive sustainable development at Waterloo. Feds is proud to help lead this initiative!”

You can find Fairtrade coffee, tea, and chocolate at all of the following locations across campus:

  • All residence cafeterias
  • All Food-Services run coffee shops (not franchises)
  • Feds International News
  • Feds Caffeine Dispensary
  • Graduate House
  • Arts Tuck Shop
  • Environment Student Coffee Shop
  • Engineering C&D (CPH and E7)
  • Science C&D
  • Math C&D
  • Catering Services Menu
  • University Club

For full details on the Fair Trade Campus Designation, see the Fair Trade Campus website. To help celebrate the designation, join us for the upcoming Launch Event.