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:
- ICU and Imperial have a Fairtrade policy.
- Fairtrade foods are available 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 and are served in all university and SU management offices.
- There is a commitment to campaign for increased Fairtrade consumption on campus.
- 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.