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Imperial Achieves Fairtrade University Status

Nov 26 2007 23:22
Ashley Brown
Imperial has been awarded Fairtrade University Status after meeting all of the required goals of the Fairtrade Foundation.
Fairtrade representatives were given a grilling in February

Imperial is now a Fairtrade University, a year after College switched to a Fairtrade supplier for its common rooms and eight months since the Union passed its Fairtrade policy. Since switching, the college has sold over 1.6million Fairtrade beverages at its trading outlets. ICU has also introduced a line of Fairtrade clothing available from the walkway shop (but not online).

Being awarded Fairtrade status does not, sadly, stop the exploitation of students on minimum wage, but demonstrates that both the College and Union have met a set of goals:

  1. ICU and Imperial have a Fairtrade policy.
  2. Fairtrade foods are available in all campus shops and used in all cafés, restaurants and bars on campus.
  3. Fairtrade foods (for example, coffee and tea) are served at all meetings and are served in all university and SU management offices.
  4. There is a commitment to campaign for increased Fairtrade consumption on campus.
  5. There is a Fairtrade Steering Group.

The road to Fairtrade University Status started with the Fairtrade Campaign Group at Imperial being awarded ULU Student Campaign Group of the year in 2006, finally forming a society in 2007. The Fairtrade Steering Group - as required by the goals above - was then formed to promote Fairtrade. The close relationship between the College, Union and College's suppliers led to a visit by some Fairtrade growers in February.

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Discussion about “Imperial Achieves Fairtrade University Status”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. grr   
Nov 27 2007 15:51

man, f**k fairtrade. I don't care if Mr Ubbugscagwenga of Bongobongoland gets 10p more for his mungo beans - I dont want to even pay more for a cup of bloody coffee!

Nov 27 2007 17:45

are you paying more for a cup of coffee? most likely not

3. Danny   
Nov 27 2007 18:58

grr, that could be construed as racist.

Aren't you big and clever, well done on getting into Imperial.

Nov 28 2007 00:13

Why can't we just believe in the market forces? Why must we "fair trade"?

Nov 28 2007 00:29

Because we don't have a free market on a global scale. Countries have import duties, quotas and other tariffs which skew free trade.

Besides, market forces would dictate that we paid coffee growers barely enough to live on, whilst making them do more work than most of the people sitting on the benefits system in this country.

Market forces don't work when you have to accept whatever price you are offered, or go out of business completely and watch your family starve to death...

Nov 28 2007 05:10

but surely it does work. The farmers starve to death hence less coffee for the West. The price of coffee then shoots up because of high demand in coffee with very little of it around...

Nov 28 2007 09:48

does that mean british farmers are now getting somewhere near a fairprice for the milk used in college too????

8. grr   
Nov 28 2007 12:22

Re: Danny

Construed as racist by an IDIOT maybe. This has nothing to do with race, just some bleeding heart liberals trying to upset market forces and rip us off while lining thier own pockets. If you don't have anything useful to contribute just shut the hell up.

Confused? I agree - that's the way things work. Drinking less coffee would prob be a good thing for us anyway.

Nov 28 2007 12:40

Fairtrade believes in and relies on the "market forces". Without a market for Faitrade products offering fairly traded would surely not work.

10. Danny   
Nov 28 2007 13:31

Grr, why don't you tell me your real name and we'll meet up and have a conversation about it.

You really are a pathetic little man.

Nov 28 2007 14:16

I think the point of Fairtrade is to stop large multi-nationals lining their pockets whilst paying the farmers pathetically little.

Starbucks etc. will charge as much for a cup of coffee as they can. I'd rather a little more money went to the farmers and not the shareholders.

Nov 28 2007 18:36

hmm, I think this is a good thing and will help people. I'll be happy as long as College still provides a cheaper option for those who don't want to be forced to buy the more expensive coffee.

And Danny, grow up. grr may be making inappropriate and uniformed statements but all you're doing is bitching and using ad hominem attacks on him. A serious case of small man syndrome, methinks. It's hardly helping, now is it?

Still, grr vs Danny - in a "Fight for Fairtrade". I'd pay a bit more to see that!

Nov 29 2007 11:42

I don't believe danny mcguinnes would write that

Nov 29 2007 13:37

If people are interested in this I (being president of Fairtrade Soc) would be happy to organise some panel discussion or other events to start a public discussion about Fairtrade in general and Imperial being Fairtrade Uni now. Talking about this, I am looking for some replacements for the members of my disfunctional committee so if anyone is interested...

15. Hmmm   
Nov 29 2007 17:05

Are you sure you are paying more for Fairtrade coffee, or are you just complaining because prices rise year on year out...? That's inflation, it happens, get over it.

What do you think of the quality of coffee provided on campus, has it improved? All coffee on campus is Fairtrade, I believe something about bulk buying being cheaper... crazy economics I know. But if you have major issues with Fairtrade you can get your cafine fix at the Gloucester road Starbucks (for approximately 3 times the cost).

Nov 29 2007 19:33

I don't drink coffee but as far as I am aware the real price (that is accounting for inflation) dropped by one or two pence when College switched to Fairtrade. Tea prices increased from 46p to 51p in our department common room since I started three years ago.

17. grr   
Dec 03 2007 11:27

Haha, Danny you are so lame. Victoria, I bet it is Mr McGuinness writing - typical of him, all posturing and no substance. It'll take more than a few quips to Council to get him out of this one.

Good points from other people, I'd like to see how Fairtrade actually works.

Dec 03 2007 12:24

You're all going over to the other side..the land of sandals, spoon benders and yogurt fanciers..where everyone farts all the time because they don't know how to laugh!

19. Danny   
Dec 04 2007 17:31

Right, not sure where this went wrong and why I started getting all this stick. Have read the posts and think I've figured it out. I can't believe I'm about to explain myself on live. That makes me really cool.

1. Victoria, it is me. Obviously I can't proove this but it is.

2. I think some people may have interpreted my 'why don't you tell me your real name ' as something that is wasn't meant to mean. I wanted to know grr's name as I assumed I would know who it is as only about 8 people post on live. That way, next time I saw him/her we could have a chat about the pros and cons of fairtrade. It wasn't meant to be a 'why don't we take this outside' line.

3. I was annoyed at his or her's original post as I thought it was a little immature, provocative and beneath the intellect of an Imperial student.

4. Maybe in the future I'll also post under a pseudonym as that was I won't get as much abuse. Small man syndrome was funny as I'm not that tall but to call me an Idiot and question my substance was a little strong.

5. If people don't want fairtrade then they won't buy it and marketforces will win. However, I'll assume that people have been buying it otherwise Imperial and it's market-forces driven ethos wouldn't bother with it. However, one cvould argue the tyranny of the majority has oppressed a minority that wish to drink nescafe gold blend!

Anyhow, until we meet again grr, I shall bid you farewell!

Danny xx

p.s. The stupid PC in the library crashed before I added this comment so this is the second time I've had to write all this! Argh!

Dec 05 2007 11:28

Danny, are you sure it is the PCs fault and it's not some in-built system in college to make people think twice about posting on Live!? Everytime I use a College network to post on Live! I get 'nothing submitted' on the first attempt but it's fine if I try again. Quite an effective deterrant actually! :D

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